Vanessa Jones is a keen organic grower of vegetables and fruit and a Master Beekeeper. She gardens organically and is interested in all aspects of horticulture and environment and is inspired by nature and landscape. The talk will cover the ever present threat and incursion of the Asian hornet (Vespa velutina aka the Yellow-legged Hornet) a non native species that threatens our pollinators.
At the date of writing (November 2023) there have been 70 Asian hornet nests
found in 54 locations in the UK. Whilst bee keeping will be affected this is very
much not a bee keeping issue. It is a massive environmental issue as Asian
hornets are indiscriminate in what they eat and will eat anything and have
voracious appetites. All our pollinators will be affected and as a consequence if
the Asian hornets become established there will inevitably be massive
environmental knock on effects.
The talk will cover the latest on the Asian hornet progress in the UK and provide
information on how to spot them, how they are being monitored and how to report
any sightings to the relevant authorities. We need to learn how to recognise this
insect and raise awareness with the wider public and be able to assist the
National Bee Unit to narrow its response to credible sightings.
Asian hornets are straightforward to identify, especially with their dark thoraxes
and yellow legs. However the public frequently misidentify them because we are
still unfamiliar with this hornet. This can be a major problem for the National Bee
Unit and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology who have to triage thousands of
sightings to find the few that are actual Asian hornets. This talk will be an
opportunity to get up to speed on this non native invasive species and get some
visual reference points and be an opportunity to look at them alongside the
harmless native European hornet (Vespa crabro).