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BeeKeyPlayer

From Rainham, Medway (North Kent) UK
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Rainham, Medway (North Kent) UK
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The WhatsApp message just out from Ian Campbell with a Defra update today includes this:

'Genetic analysis has now been completed on the three other queens found at Four Oaks, Kent, and the single individuals at Romford, London, and Ash, Kent. The analysis has indicated that the hornets found at Four Oaks are overwintered offspring of the nest destroyed in Rye, Kent, in November 2023.'

(For some reason, I can't see this on the Defra page yet.)Rye is in East Sussex and not Kent.

Edit: Ian has just posted that Defra made a slip: Rye is in East Sussex and not Kent.
 
The WhatsApp message just out from Ian Campbell with a Defra update today includes this:

'Genetic analysis has now been completed on the three other queens found at Four Oaks, Kent, and the single individuals at Romford, London, and Ash, Kent. The analysis has indicated that the hornets found at Four Oaks are overwintered offspring of the nest destroyed in Rye, Kent, in November 2023.'

(For some reason, I can't see this on the Defra page yet.)Rye is in East Sussex and not Kent.

Edit: Ian has just posted that Defra made a slip: Rye is in East Sussex and not Kent.
I assume they were mated? Either way, that rather answers that question. Darn.
 
It's the Rkmford one that I think has the potential to be the real worry. Assuming it's a overwinter queen that is mated and there are other mates queens undetected in the local area.

Built up area, plenty of places to build nests with little to no access. It's an urban area which remains warmer in springs and plenty of dry places to start nests. And they can then spead quite easily through the greater London area.

No way of setting a trap every square kilometer and plenty of people not willing to give access to their properties and land no matter who waves the piece of paper at them.
 
This was an open secret due to the number of nests found in Kent and Sussex, although according to some members of the forum this was impossible.
The NBU can now improve its operations for the summer and autumn or it will find itself in serious trouble.
 
Four Oaks and Rye are about twenty-five miles apart, aren't they? Or are there closer towns of the same name?

James
 
Is that now four or five queens found at Four Oaks? Anyway, the traps seem to be working!
 
Is that because rye is the only place where Asian hornet queens can overwinter?
Based on my reading, they can overwinter as far North as Scotland.
(I gave up on the last long discussion where quite clearly a position was taken that was frankly indefensibly illogical)
If we are finding overwintered queens, there will be others unfound in the countryside where few live.
 
I believe they were found in the NBU traps i.e. the location was specifically targeted.

Dorset is not near Rye so it would be pretty stupid for you to put traps out.
For some reason the nbu page is not updated, but there is more information here.
The NBU took precautions in Kent, East Sussex, Devon and North Yorkshire by setting up traps that appear to have yielded some catches.
https://www.westsussexbeekeepers.org.uk/asianhornet.html
 
Is that because rye is the only place where Asian hornet queens can overwinter?
No it is based on risk. Kent and East Sussex clearly have a different risk to the rest of the UK because they are within flight range of the French coast and/or have major ferry terminals, as well as, now having overwintered queens.

As far as I'm aware no hornets have yet been found in Scotland/Wales/Northern Ireland so they have a very low risk.

I've tried to do a back of the fag packet probability calculation on a trap picking up a hornet in England outside Kent/East Sussex. I can't be bothered to look up the foraging range of an Asian hornet queen, but for ease let's say it's a circle with a 1km radius. Let's also assume your trap is super duper and is guaranteed to capture any hornets in the area. With that I reckon you have a 1 in 41 thousand chance of a single Asian hornet entering your trap.

Now last year I think there were 12 queens found outside Kent/East Sussex, so you have 12 spins of the hornet dice. So overall that works out at a 1 in 3379 chance of your trap capturing something in the year. Higher than I thought if I'm honest. (Although I'm rubbish at probability so could easily have done that wrong)

Arguably Dorset has a higher risk being on the south coast so you could bump that up to say 1 in 800.

But what do you gain from trapping a queen in spring? If you don't and the queen succeeds and she builds a nest, surely you will easily pick up the presence of the nest by early autumn (before it has reproduced) just by observing the insects on surrounding flowers/hawking hives etc. Okay you might save somebody from being stung.

Trapping only makes sense to me if there is a high risk and you are putting them in unpopulated areas where a nest has the potential to go unnoticed.
 
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No it is based on risk. Kent and East Sussex clearly have a different risk to the rest of the UK because they are within flight range of the French coast and/or have major ferry terminals, as well as, now having overwintered queens.

As far as I'm aware no hornets have yet been found in Scotland/Wales/Northern Ireland so they have a very low risk.

I've tried to do a back of the fag packet probability calculation on a trap picking up a hornet in England outside Kent/East Sussex. I can't be bothered to look up the foraging range of an Asian hornet queen, but for ease let's say it's a circle with a 1km radius. Let's also assume your trap is super duper and is guaranteed to capture any hornets in the area. With that I reckon you have a 1 in 41 thousand chance of a single Asian hornet entering your trap.

Now last year I think there were 12 queens found outside Kent/East Sussex, so you have 12 spins of the hornet dice. So overall that works out at a 1 in 3379 chance of your trap capturing something in the year. Higher than I thought if I'm honest. (Although I'm rubbish at probability so could easily have done that wrong)

Arguably Dorset has a higher risk being on the south coast so you could bump that up to say 1 in 800.

But what do you gain from trapping a queen in spring? If you don't and the queen succeeds and she builds a nest, surely you will easily pick up the presence of the nest by early autumn (before it has reproduced) just by observing the insects on surrounding flowers/hawking hives etc. Okay you might save somebody from being stung.

Trapping only makes sense to me if there is a high risk and you are putting them in unpopulated areas where a nest has the potential to go unnoticed.
Well I'm not going to even try to get my head around those figures, nor do I trap but I do know that two nests were found within a couple of miles of me last summer and I don't live a million miles away from @The Poot, so to my simple way of thinking it doesn't seem "stupid" if some people in the area do trap even though Dorset isn't near Kent.

As to what is achieved by trapping, maybe nothing. Then again, with the current.system that we have it *could* save sending an entire team of already stretched inspectors to a different part of the country at a time when they're (potentially) inundated with nests somewhere (Kent?) else.
 
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Well I'm not going to even try to get my head around those figures, nor do I trap but I do know that two nests were found within a couple of miles of me last summer and I don't live a million miles away from @The Poot, so to my simple way of thinking it doesn't seem "stupid" if some people in the area do trap even though Dorset isn't near Kent.

As to what is achieved by trapping, maybe nothing. Then again, with the current.system that we have it *could* save sending an entire team of already stretched inspectors to a different part of the country at a time when they're (potentially) inundated with nests somewhere (Kent?) else.
If you have had nests nearby last year you should at least try a fuse trap, if you see a velutina capture an image and send it to the NBU. Then you can replace your fuse trap with a capture one and when it has fallen, return to the fuse trap. It is still relatively early for a founding queen to have successfully raised the first generation of workers. Now, if within 2 days you receive more than 3 visits (having captured the previous ones) I would start insisting on the issue to the NBU.
Note: the expansion distance of a founder over her position from the previous year is 80km in similar territory.
 
I believe they were found in the NBU traps i.e. the location was specifically targeted.

Dorset is not near Rye so it would be pretty stupid for you to put traps out.

I live in SSE of Birmingham city centre. Birmingham Airport has increased the amount of freighter arriving especially 747's plus all the domestic flights from Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium and multiple flights a day from some of the cities to mention a few routes.
We have within 20 miles 3 major deep sea container terminals reading trade from all over the world and we have the M5 and M6.

There are so many options for Vv to arrive it could have been Brum rather than Kent and may be this year.

That said I don't trap nor monitor at the moment.
 
I live in SSE of Birmingham city centre. Birmingham Airport has increased the amount of freighter arriving especially 747's plus all the domestic flights from Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium and multiple flights a day from some of the cities to mention a few routes.
We have within 20 miles 3 major deep sea container terminals reading trade from all over the world and we have the M5 and M6.

There are so many options for Vv to arrive it could have been Brum rather than Kent and may be this year.

I'm not sure how well insects would survive on an aircraft unless they manged to get into the pressurised cabin. Even then perhaps not. I remember someone who worked for me years back was into skydiving and claimed that insects attracted to fluorescent parts of his suit died and fell off before they got to 12,000 feet to jump. It's also exceptionally cold at the altitudes commercial aircraft fly at. Something like -50C when you get to around 35,000 feet I think.

I reckon containers have the potential to be a significant problem though.

James
 
you should at least try a fuse trap,
We would call it a wick bait station.

Note: the expansion distance of a founder over her position from the previous year is 80km in similar territory.
Although the nest last year was reported as Rye, it was actually Four Oaks which explains the queen's being found in Four Oaks this year. If there are any other queens from this nest hopefully they can be all caught before their expansion. The NBU were putting a trap in every surrounding square kilometer.

Dover beekeepers in their region were aiming for 5 traps in every square kilometer. I think the French recommend a trap every 350m.
 
I'm not sure how well insects would survive on an aircraft unless they manged to get into the pressurised cabin. Even then perhaps not. I remember someone who worked for me years back was into skydiving and claimed that insects attracted to fluorescent parts of his suit died and fell off before they got to 12,000 feet to jump. It's also exceptionally cold at the altitudes commercial aircraft fly at. Something like -50C when you get to around 35,000 feet I think.

I reckon containers have the potential to be a significant problem though.

James
Insects survive well enough on and around aircraft crevices even at extremes. So much so that some countries have processes for minimizing transfer risk.

Aircraft disinfection

It maybe surprising but a lot of insects use the natural air-currents to migrate. It's not uncommon to find swarms of insects under cumulus clouds (however high cloudbase may be; admittedly not normally at 30,000ft+). So much so that competitive racing glider pilots install bug wipers on their wings to wipe off the dead bugs...

BUG WIPING DURING FLIGHT - How does it work?
 
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