On the morning of Saturday 11th February the branch held an Asian Hornet Workshop.

As a result of last year's arrival of the asian hornet to our shores, and the possibility that it may be back, the workshop was held to allow our members to get together and make up the trap recommended by the NBU.

This trap is meant for monitoring in areas where the Asian hornet is not yet established and the recommendation from the NBU is to hang the traps around the apiary in mid to late February to trap any overwintering queen hornets.

Later in the season, the trap can be modified by re-fitting the bottle cap with a 9mm hole drilled into it. This allows the Asian hornet to enter but not European hornet.

h workshop aA 5mm escape hole can also be added above the mesh that will keep asian hornets in but allow the escape of smaller insects.

The session started with Rowan giving an overview of the steps he took to build a trap, plus the workarounds that were discovered to problems that occured during its construction. The construction process was then repeated and followed by all participants until everyone had made their own trap.

After the construction session, Margaret Holdsworth supplied refreshments and reviewed possible options to use for bait. The addition of cider vinegar to baits, which has been a successful additive to wasp baits, was mentioned and was known to put honey bees off the lure.

 

 

 

Asian Hornet Baits

French beekeepers often use a mixture of DARK beer and sugar for same purpose. Other effective baits include sweet mixtures of wine, sugar, cassis, and water. You can also buy proprietary brands of hornet (wasp) trap bait from many garden centres and DIY stores. At the height of the beekeeping season, when predatory worker hornets are seeking high protein foods, consider adding raw meat or fish to the bait mixture.

h workshop cSpring: sweet baits should be used
Summer & Autumn: sweet baits again, but with the addition of protein (fish or meat).

In areas where the Asian hornet is already established a trap without mesh can be used.
Experience in France has shown that a trap already containing some Asian hornets is even more attractive to other Asian hornets but other insects are deterred from entering.
French beekeepers will therefore sometimes ‘bait’ a trap with a few Asian hornets. Be warned that an overfull or 'stale' trap is not an attractant. 

Remember, this hornet is not yet established here and the primary purpose at the moment is to monitor and report!

Please download the document for yourself for information on how to build your own trap, making additional traps (more increases your chances) and details on where and when to hang the trap. Important information on how to empty it and report any hornets that you trap is also included.

If a suspect Asian hornet is captured it is best to enclose the whole trap in a plastic bag and place in a freezer for 12 hours before removing the insect.

Thanks go to Gillian Berridge who supplied the lovely cakes, Margaret and Dick Holdsworth for hosting the session and Rowan for sourcing the required materials and getting things started.


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  • LAST CHANCE: to answer our survey on how training and information sources for beekeepers and bee farmers can be improved
    20 April 2021
    With thanks to those of you who have already responded. For those of who haven’t yet had chance to answer the survey there is still time but it closes tomorrow. For further details please see below.

    Gyda diolch i'r rhai ohonoch sydd eisoes wedi ymateb. I'r rhai nad ydynt wedi cael cyfle eto i ateb yr arolwg mae amser o hyd ond mae'n cau yfory. Am fanylion pellach gweler isod.

    Defra and the Welsh Government want to ensure that beekeepers and bee farmers have access to training and information that can help them implement effective biosecurity and maintain good standards of husbandry, so as to minimise pest and disease risks and improve the sustainability of honeybee populations.

    A short questionnaire is available for current beekeepers, people who have recently stopped keeping bees as well as bee farmers to give their views and opinions on the type, accessibility and range of training and information available and how it could be improved. It should take no more than 15 minutes.

    Please go to https://eu5se.voxco.com/S2/87/healthy_bees/ to complete the survey by 21 April.

    Defnyddiwch y ddolen hon i gwblhau'r arolwg erbyn 21/04/2021.
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    19 April 2021
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    If you are interested in applying for the job, full details can be found on Civil Service Jobs.


  • Reporting Varroa
    12 April 2021
    Amendments to the Bee Diseases and Pests Control (England) Order 2006, the Bees Diseases and Pest Control (Scotland) Order 2007 and the Bee Diseases and Pests Control (Wales) Order 2006 come into force on the 21st of April 2021 requiring all beekeepers and/or officials in GB to report the presence of Varroa in any of the hives that they manage. This amendment will allow Great Britain to comply with the Animal Health Law which is necessary for future working relationships with the European Union.

    To make this simple, a tick box will be introduced to BeeBase, the voluntary register for beekeepers managed by the National Bee Unit. This will be the easiest way to report Varroa but an alternative mechanism will be provided for those who do not wish to register on the BeeBase system. Details of this alternative system will be provided after 21st April. If Scottish Beekeepers wish to, they can report varroa by contacting the Scottish Bee Health Inspectors (BeesMailbox@gov.scot).

    Although Varroa is known to be widespread, it continues to be one of the most serious pests faced by beekeepers. Reporting Varroa will contribute to the overall pest and disease surveillance work of the National Bee Unit and the Scottish Bee Health Inspectorate. We are grateful for your assistance with this new simple measure.

    No action will be required until after 21st April.