Asian Hornet Keeps Spreading In Switzerland

A predatory insect that kills and eats honeybees keeps spreading in Switzerland, experts have warned.

Prof Daniel Cherix from Lausanne University said there had been more than 30 reports about Asian hornet (Vespa velutina) occurrences so far this year. He underlined this was a significant increase compared to figures of the past few years.

Speaking to the Le Matin Dimanche newspaper, the entomologist explained that most members of the invasive species had been spotted in western Switzerland.

Picture shows Prof Daniel Cherix from Lausanne University, undated. He said there had been more than 30 reports about Asian hornet (Vespa velutina) occurrences so far this year. (NewsX/Bee)

Asian hornets are indigenous to Southeast Asia. Their appearances have been causing increasing concerns among beekeepers not just in Switzerland. Especially honeybee colonies in France and Germany are considered at high risk.

Europe has become the Asian hornet’s habitat since being spotted for the first time on the continent in France in 2004. The first appearances in Switzerland date back to 2017.

Asian hornet queens measure approximately 30 millimetres while their colonies’ workers reach a body length of around 20 millimetres.

If firefighters have to get involved, removing an Asian hornet nest can cost up to EUR 3,000 (GBP 2,590).

Dr Eric Darrouzet from Tours University in France warned that an Asian hornet colony had the potential to eat up to 11 kilogrammes of various insects per year.

He explained: “The Asian hornet is a predator. This means that the worker members of a colony will relentlessly hunt various other insects to ensure the food supply of the grubs.”

Illustrative image of Asian Hornet Vespa velutina. (NewsX/Bee)

Apiarists and farmers fear that its proliferation could have a detrimental effect on honey harvest volumes and the pollination of plants and flowers.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *