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MJBee 

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The following is a translation of an article that appeared in a beekeeping magazine. Shows that with vigilance the Asian Hornet can be kept at bay:-

I am bee-keeper in mountainous area, in department of Aude. Until autumn 2008 no Asian hornets had been seen before summer in our department, although the members of the association and the GDSA did not reduce vigilance, the hornet was at our door (Haut-Garronne, Tarn). In October 2008, two single workers of Velutina Vespa were seen and captured one in the west of Carcassonne, the other in one of my apiaries in mountain. No other hornets were observed until the winter arrived.
This spring in March I set a series of traps baited with beer and with the blackcurrant syrup. A total 15 Queen vespa velutina were captured in communes from the suburbs of Carcassonne upto 800m of altitude in mountain. At the end of June, I removed a nest beginning in an empty nucleus box. On of July 20th, in one only of my apiaries I could observe the first attacks, really spectacular, Velutina arrived in waves of 5 or 6, were distributed in front of the hives and set out again approximately 30 seconds after each one with a bee, at once a second wave arrived and so on.
The bees either massed on the landing board for defence, which facilitated the predation, or hid themselves inside the hives as the hornets entered, all foraging by the bees stopped.
Since, I have made a trap, on the model worked out by the INRA of Bordeaux (a simple bucket protected by a plate of plywood), baited with the apple juice. Broadly apple juice drowns 2 times more Velutina than of indigenous hornets some moths, but no bees, wasps or flies. To date, that is to say one month after the installation of trap, more than 700 hornets have been captured, and killed.
The predation is reduced - one hornet for 3 - 4 hives - and the activity of foraging began again. But the predation remains and is necessary to clean the trap and to renew the soft food per week twice, which is very constraining.
With 3km of colleague who has 5 hives and did not see the hornets already lost 2 colonies so much the predation was intense.
There are probably two nests in the sector, but if there no had been trapping in spring there would be a score or more and they would be in all the hives in a radius of 15km with a major threat of disappearance. How to face in the future such a situation?
 
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Deep joy. I wonder which will arrive first, asian hornets or small hive beetle or perhaps another threat from left of field. Isn't nature wonderful in its diversity?
 

thurrock bees 

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a worrying thought,think about this years wasp attacks, the replace with hornets, and then add wasps into the situation?

:ack2:
 

MJBee 

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Worrying indeed. However the main point he made was the effect of trapping in SPRING. Most of us myself included have put traps out when the attacks began rather than go to the source of the problem - the queens just beginning to build a nest. This will work with wasps and european hornets as well.

The friend I am mentoring has been fighting asian hornets all season and now that the leaves are off the trees a huge nest has been revealed 25m up an oak tree less than 100m from his hives:( and they are still attacking his hives, while I was there a solitary hornet entered the hive and emerged a few seconds later carrying a bee - it didn't get to eat it though:)
:cheers2: Mike
 

grizzly 

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a worrying thought,think about this years wasp attacks, the replace with hornets, and then add wasps into the situation?

:ack2:
I have never seen such a high concentration of wasps as this year around one of my apiaries in particular, when you cannot harvest the honey due to wasp numbers pouring in under the roof it get really annoying.

I am still a big softy, i dont like seeing my bees stressed, and i get a bit carried away with a blow torch directed at the wasps.

When i discovered these wasps camped out around my hives i used an old empty hive with frames inside (empty of foundation) i sat this within a short walk, and each morning in the cool i would open it up and open fire, the wasps seemed to congregate here after i foamed their nests.
 

oliver90owner 

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grizzly,

Are we to assume your colonies are too far away from your home to visit them twice to harvest the honey?

One strategy would be to place clearer boards late in the evening (or early in the morning - very early!) and remove the cleared supers at any suitable time - not so much a problem if you are not replacing them.

You may well get a better kill by sealing the entrance and filling the boxes with propane or a good squirt of propanone (acetone). Not so satisfying as blasting them with a flame thrower but quite effective.

If you have that many, 'flour' them - it is then easier to see them leaving to return to the nest. Makes locating the nest easier.

I always have a fly spray handy early in the spring when the queen wasps are searching for easy food or a nesting site and have baited them with an old honeycomb early in the morning, before the bees are about. The wasp is a useful insect, but not too close as be a nuisance to the hives. Hornets are something different - the bees simply cannot defend against them.

A good spring, when the queens can get the first round of workers hatched, bodes bad for the beekeeper later in the season. A lousy spring will mean fewer wasp nests get established. We can't really win!

Regards, RAB
 

Geoff 

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When i discovered these wasps camped out around my hives i used an old empty hive with frames inside (empty of foundation) i sat this within a short walk, and each morning in the cool i would open it up and open fire, the wasps seemed to congregate here after i foamed their nests.
What do you mean by foamed their nests? If you are destroying the nests but not killing most of the wasps is that not making it worse? The best technique is to use a poison that is easily obtainable as a dust and spray it at the entrance in the evening. The wasps then take the poison and spread it round the whole colony.
Where i rent some land someone who was renting an industrial unit asked me about destroying a wasp nest and that is what I told him - I also told him that beekeepers dont deal in wasps nests! But his mate came and they decided to squirt it with a high pressure hose. So instead of killing them all they just destroyed part of the nest and the queen with the result that for weeks after they had thousands of wasps hanging around with nothing to do except cause trouble. They had to abandon half of their industrial unit - all for a few pounds.
 

grizzly 

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grizzly,

Are we to assume your colonies are too far away from your home to visit them twice to harvest the honey?
i did go back a second time about a month later, i had also had the clearer boards on for a few days, the point i was trying to make was just how many wasps were around the first time i tried to remove the supers, and that was fairly early. Probably not as early as you mention though.

The foam mentioned was wasp nest destroyer foam.
 

thurrock bees 

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when removing supers of honey, i do it in the evening when all flying has stopped, that way no bee or WASPS are fighting to get in a nick the honey.
 

MuswellMetro 

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What does the foam do? Does it block up the entrance and contain a poison? I had only come across the powder.
i have used it, it is a very light foam and is very useful if the nest is deep inside a roof or wall. you spray in on the nest/or cavity and it expands to fill all voids around the nest. slowly being absobed into the paper nest, iit took two appications when i used it

i once soaked a nest in meths then threw a match at it...never agian..it exploded and thousand of maimed angry wasps came outo
 
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jezd 

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i have used it, it is a very light foam and is very useful if the nest is deep inside a roof or wall. you spray in on the nest/or cavity and it expands to fill all voids around the nest. slowly being absobed into the paper nest, iit took two appications when i used it

i once soaked a nest in meths then threw a match at it...never agian..it exploded and thousand of maimed angry wasps came outo
just my view, the foam is a waste of money. when applying into a sloping roof under tiles it simply clogs up and then melts, power stay for hours/days as the wasps take it in – when you see both on the shelf, foam and power I assumed the expensive one must be the best....i dont think it is

dump lots of power around the entrance hole and leave the wasps to do the rest
 

MJBee 

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Further to my post 4 here are some pictures of the nest. I estimate its size as about 18" diameter and 30" top to bottom. The authorities were notified about it a week ago but so far no action:(
 

jezd 

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flamethrower :)
 
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Very long ladder or a shot gun followed by a sprint. You can blow crows out of a nest with a shot gun so it might work but probably need several coordinated shots, possibly at night with a torch illuminating the nest. It would at least disrupt them for a while and the French are famous for shooting anything that flies so perhaps encouraging them to shoot hornets might take off, so to speak.
 

MJBee 

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Funny you should say that Rooftops:) One recommendation by the UNAF is to contact the "Chasse" (local hunt group) and get 3 or 4 shotgun armed members, then it's a case of un deux trois Tir - then run.:):):)
The mayor and the gendarmerie are supposed to attend too sounds like a fun event to observe from a distance I'll keep you posted.
Problem Jezd - its 25 meters+ up and the branches at that height are a bit thin:( James is a tree surgeon by trade and could get to the branch they are on and cut it but as you can see from the pic the last bit is almost vertical soooo a) he would be UNDER it and b) if the hornets take exception it takes time to get down:( There hasn't been a decent air frost yet to kill them off but next week looks like it may do the trick.
:cheers2: Mike
 

oliver90owner 

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The method in Grand Dad's day would be to open the crimp, remove a small amount of lead and melt (bees)wax onto the load. It apparently kept the load together and helped to destroy the target more comrehensively.

Hasten to add that I have never tried it. Dad used some black cartridges, from the war defences period, which were fairly devastating to crows' nests. They were possibly a large gauge ball load for use against people - anybody know? I do know he would only use them through his 'good' gun and not in the old underlever 12.

Regards, RAB
 
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Good Grief, o90o it would create a lethal ball, don't tell your local crooks. But it's an excellent idea for protecting the homestead when civilisation collapses. Must remember it.

However, for the hornets you would need to be a good shot, at least with normal cartridges there is a bit of room for error and as even Asian hornets probably don't wear armoured vests a few grams of BB would suffice I suspect.
 

Hivemaker. 

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The large black cartriges could of been rifled slugs, if just a single shot,still availible today for shotguns,especially in France,or if more shot in the load, it could be 9 ball sg.
Some still use the wax method poured onto the shot,for shooting larger animals.
Not the best of idea's though.
 

gavin 

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Child's plastic paddling pool with detergent-laced water underneath (mais pas des enfants!), and a rifle to cut the branch it is attached to?

I believe that arboriculturalists use rifles to bring down seed cones and material for cuttings.

G.
 

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