Asian Hornets - Help Watch
The Scottish Government's SASA team are looking for your help please. Starting this week, Asian Hornet Week, they would like you to spend some time watching your colonies and report back on your observations.
So what can you do to help?
First of all, familiarise yourself with what the Asian Hornet looks like and what it can be confused with. Fiona Highet, MBE, from SASA, shared comprehensive details in our September issue of the Scottish Beekeeper magazine. These can be viewed or downloaded by clicking here or on the Asian Hornet image above.
Please carry out your observations (across Scotland) over September and October. Every apiary, orchard, and overgrown ivy bush are potential survey sites, and every beekeeper is a potential observer. So please remember what (they look like), where (to find them), and how (they behave), and if you have time, give the following a try!
A step-by-step guide to targeted observations at your apiary
- If you can, download the free Asian Hornet app (available through the Apple and Google Play app stores) – this has useful photos to help ID and a reporting tool just in case you spot one. If you can’t then please check out Fiona's article or the BeeBase Asian Hornet page before you start, these have links to photos and tips to hone your ID skills.
- Pick a sunny afternoon in September when there’s likely to be lots of activity at the apiary
- Grab a cuppa and a chair
- Choose an observation site at the side of your colonies, somewhere you can see bees at the hive entrance, but not too close to attract attention
- If you are carrying out October observations, again pick a sunny afternoon and find a nice spot at the ivy or under the apple tree where there’s plenty of active wasps and hoverflies
- Sit down, get comfy, and watch the arrivals and departures for at least 20 minutes
- That’s it!
For details on how and where to report what you see please click here.
Thank you to everyone who has helped us watch out for hornets in the past, and who can offer their help this year. We know that Asian Hornet is an excellent hitchhiker and expect it to turn up in Scotland sometime soon. But if we find an outbreak quickly and work together to stamp it out, we should be able to keep our honey bees and other pollinators safe from this predator for a long time to come.
The SASA Team