Preventing Further Asian Hornet Spreading Is ‘Utopistic’

Getting rid of Asian hornets once and for all is an unattainable target, government officials in Germany have admitted.

The predatory species, which can kill whole honeybee colonies, has quickly spread across Western and Central Europe in the past 20 years.

Now the authorities in the German state of Saarland have underlined that it was impossible to completely stop its proliferation.

A spokesperson for the Saarland Environment Ministry announced: “We are cooperating with other states about containing its spreading. However, this is a very complex task which will probably not be fulfilled entirely.”

Speaking to the Bild newspaper, the health ministry official emphasised: “The Asian hornet has become an immense problem. We can hardly follow up all reports about nests.”

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

The spokesperson concluded: “Preventing a further spreading or eradicating the issue in its entirety are utopian options.”

In the first 10 months of 2023, 120 Asian hornet nests were removed in Saarland by experts deployed by the regional environment and consumer protection department.

The small southwestern state is among the worst affected areas. Beekeepers, environmentalists and government officials in Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg are concerned as well.

However, the invasive species also known as Vespa velutina and Vespa velutina nigrithorax has also been spotted in the federal capital Berlin and the northern city of Hamburg.

Hamburg Beekeepers Union President Edda Gebel admitted: “I’m deeply concerned by the high number of appearances.”

She warned: “If we don’t find workable solutions in cooperation with our partners, my perspective on the next five to 10 years is dominated by worries.”


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