back to article Asian hornets are HERE... those honey bee murdering BASTARDS

A sleepy Cotswold town could be about to witness the genocide of local honey bees following the discovery of invasive predatory Asian hornets. Sightings of the inch-long death bringers have been confirmed in the Tetbury area in Gloucestershire for the first time. Although it has a long, powerful stinger, it's the hornet's …

  1. DavCrav Silver badge

    "The Asian hornet can be identified by a single yellow band on its dark body and brown eyes on its yellow-orange face."

    And the fact that it's 2 inches bloody long. Jesus.

    1. Chris Miller

      No, there's been a bit of confusion in the press generally about this. The ones found in Tetbury are Asian Hornets, but not Asian Giant Hornets, which are a different species (and bigger, obvs - they're the ones that can grow up to two inches long). The Asian Hornets have been introduced and are fairly widespread across continental Europe, although they don't like cold winters so are more common in the south. They are actually slightly smaller than the native British Hornet, but they do have a taste for honey bees, which can make them a bit of a problem for beekeepers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That aside the advice:

        "Chittka advised anyone who might come into contact with the winged critters to "not to poke a stick into a nest". The hornets are fiercely territorial and can become aggressive if provoked."

        Pity our government didn't take this advice about getting involved in Iraq, Syria and Libya.....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ Chris Miller

        No such thing as a native british hornet. Only vespa crabro which is the European hornet.

        I've killed a few nests in my time but no more than 3 in a decade of pest control.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @ Chris Miller

          "I've killed a few nests in my time but no more than 3 in a decade of pest control."

          Is "no more than 3" a few or a couple of?

      3. Chairo

        Not giant hornets

        Yes, there are quite a lot of different hornet species in Asia. Luckily the giant hornet is only one of them.

        That said even the smaller ones can be quite aggressive if they feel their nest is threatened.

        Last week a group of Marathon runners in Japan found that out the hard way. And those were smaller hornets. Their nest was only half a meter in diameter. Giant hornet nests can easily reach a meter.

        From personal experience I can say giant hornets are really something special. Already the sound they make is nothing like other wasps. They sound similar to the sound a big beetle makes during flight. But they have nothing of the clumsiness of a beetle. Occasionally one zips through our garden. Good that they don't go for sweet stuff, like European wasps. As long as they don't defend their nest and you aren't a honey bee, you should be safe. Of course knowing that doesn't make you feel any better if one is hovering in front of you. Running away does not work, standing still does not make her go away and slowly walking off takes a lot of willpower.

      4. ZanzibarRastapopulous

        They said it was Vespa mandarinia which is the Asian Giant Hornet.

        1. x 7

          "They said it was Vespa mandarinia which is the Asian Giant Hornet."

          I hadn't noticed that. Mistaken identification. Definitely Vespa velutina

          The original article is wrong

  2. My-Handle
    Coat

    They can buzz off.

    1. TRT Silver badge
    2. Yesnomaybe

      Yup

      Brexit can't come soon enough. We NEED control over them borders innit!?

      (I AM taking the piss, OK? Easy on the down-votes please)

  3. Dave 126 Silver badge

    1. Please don't kill any of our native hornets (and generally, any black and yellow buzzy thing won't sting you if you don't take swipes at it

    2. What happened to that Mosquito-killing laser turret (made cheaply from bits of scanners, cameras and DVD players) from Ted Talks?

    Edit: It's the laser from a BluRay player. https://www.ted.com/talks/nathan_myhrvold_could_this_laser_zap_malaria/transcript?language=en

  4. Dwarf Silver badge

    Stings like a bullet

    Apparently the stings from these leave you with holes that look like you've been shot with a rifle.

    I'll leave it for you to google that for yourself.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stings like a bullet

      Quite, which makes the following statement seem quite bewildering.

      Professor Nicola Spence, chief plant health officer at Defra, told the Beeb: "It is important to remember they pose no greater risk to human health than a bee, though we recognise the damage they can cause to honey bee colonies.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Stings like a bullet

        with holes that look like you've been shot with a rifle

        I somehow doubt you have ever seen people that have been "shot with a rifle".

        Unless this hornet is 2 foot in size and has explodo-venom loaded.

        1. Dwarf Silver badge

          Re: Stings like a bullet

          @DAM

          OK, then see for yourself. Large holes, nothing like an average UK wasp sting. Looks like a bullet hole to me and yes, I've seen enough things shot over the years. If you want to split hairs, then make it an entry hole. Point is its a damn site larger than a normal wasp sting.

          Asian Hornet sting picture

          @AC - "It is important to remember they pose no greater risk to human health than a bee, " means that it will not kill you, but having the ability to dissolve human flesh means that :

          A. It will hurt a lot more

          B. It will take a lot longer to pass than a normal UK wasp sting.

          1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

            Re: Stings like a bullet

            That article is about the Asian Giant Hornet. This one is about the Asian (normal sized?) Hornet.

            1. Dwarf Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Stings like a bullet

              If they are really different, then how do you explain that both articles use the same scientific name of Vespa mandarinia when describing them then ?

              1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

                Re: Stings like a bullet

                A mistake?

                1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
                  Childcatcher

                  Re: Stings like a bullet

                  A mistake?

                  Yes, that should be "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee..."

                  In remembrance of the late, great Muhammad Ali.

        2. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Stings like a bullet

          >I somehow doubt you have ever seen people that have been "shot with a rifle".

          Is that an African or European rifle? Laden or unladen? Air rifle or powder based? Lead slug or plastic?

          tl;dr Too many variables

  5. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Bloody foreign wasps. Coming here, killing our locals, blah blah blah.

    Best roll up my Daily Mail and deal with them myself !!!!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They should build a wall to keep them out, and deport them back to China!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Good Luck

      whats your local hospital, I will bring grapes.

  6. M7S

    Killing bees at the rate of 40 per minute?

    Per hornet?

    For a few of them out swaggering on a Friday night and looking for trouble?

    For a swarm of (currently undefined Reg unit) size? If so, what are the known variations in size of a swarm compared to "normal"?

    For El Reg, that's worse than the crime reporters who blindly quote police as saying the MAC-10 can fire 1,000 rounds per minute. Yes it can fire at that rate, but it cannot fire that amount in a minute unless you've a magic Hollywood magazine, Sloppy from a tech publication that should be good with basic number concepts.

    1. LesC
      Alert

      Re: Killing bees at the rate of 40 per minute?

      Indeed per hornet. European honeybees attack one at a time and are swiftly despached. Asian honeybees surround them and cook them with their body heat as Asian honeybees can survive at higher temperatures than the hornets can.

      A Euro-Asian honeybee hybrid needed here???

    2. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: Killing bees at the rate of 40 per minute?

      No problem.

      A MAC-10 can fire 16 2/3 rounds a second.

      Fixed.

      But why are hornets carrying them?

    3. cortland

      Re: Killing bees at the rate of 40 per minute?

      You can get 100 round drum magazines, but here's a test someone a ran manually loading 30 and 50 round (drum )magazines into a modified AR – 15 on full automatic. He used up most of the table full of ammunition before the barrel failed at 830 rounds.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSizVpfqFtw

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: Killing bees at the rate of 40 per minute?

        Nice to see enquiring minds do the experiment. Overheating barrels nothing terribly new, but they do put a little of a damper on the rate of fire stat. Correct (probably) but a wee bit short on all the necessary conditions.

  7. Number6

    It's clearly all a plot by the pesticide manufacturers. If something else takes out the honey bees then neonicotinoids clearly can't be blamed.

  8. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Another immigration issue that will be fixed by Brexit.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Bah!

      In this case, Beexit.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Be Warned

    I discovered in a football sized nest looking like one of those tacky paper lampshades, these beasties

    Checked with the local farmer who confirmed that they were Frelon Asiatique, very dangerous, and to get, for about 12 euro's, a spray that shoots a poison onto the nest, with a range of about 1.5 metres.

    Fired the aerosol at the nest and legged it.

    Came back next day, most dead, a few pissed off survivors which were dispatched. They never returned, unlike wasps which seem to.

    The bee swarm which passed in front of me by about 1 metre, ended up between the neighbours window and the closed shutter, quite interesting to go into the house and see them behind glass.

    We called a local bee keeper, who got them into a hive, and were rewarded with honeycomb and a jar of honey.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Be Warned

      Why very dangerous? As mentioned Frelon Asiatique is not more dangerous than a standard bee.

      Also, it's actually a wasp..

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Be Warned

        Well the people round here are of a different opinion, and so I tend to believe them rather than an article in Wikipedia.fr.

        They can kill, search

        deaths "Frelon Asiatique"

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          Re: Be Warned

          And who are "the people round here".

          As for deaths ... there is only one listed.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Be Warned

            And who are "the people round here".

            The local farmers.

            As for deaths ... there is only one listed.

            try the scroll button.

            One man, one woman, thats two

            The points you are missing, are that the frelon is a hornet as opposed to a guêpe which is a wasp.

            This particular frelon is not native to Europe, is a result of global trade and is fatal to the bee (abeille) population.

      2. Squander Two

        Re: Be Warned

        > Why very dangerous? As mentioned Frelon Asiatique is not more dangerous than a standard bee.

        Since a swarm of standard bees is very dangerous, what's your point?

    2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Be Warned

      Pretty sure the official advice is to call the pompiers if you find a nest, don't try getting rid of it yourself...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Be Warned

        Depends on the department, I was informed it would be cheaper to use the spray, which is specifically designed for frelon asiatiques, as opposed to calling the pompiers.

        It worked, albeit a bit scary, but I also had protective clothing and a safety person on hand, also I can run fast!!!

  10. x 7

    Well, we always knew the wosps began at Calais, now it seems the buggers are trying to get here. I blame the channel tunnel

  11. Steven Roper

    Looks like you chaps in the UK need to take a leaf out of our books here in Australia, and enact yourselves some decent quarantine legislation.

    We learned our lesson with cane toads. We aren't letting anything else into our country after that!

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      @ Steven Roper'

      You're letting F-35s into Australia when you probably would be better off with Hornets.

      1. Myvekk

        We already have the Hornets. They're [i]supposed[/i] to be replaced by the f-35s...

        First the varroa mites & now wasps, why does Asia hate the honey bees?

        And yes, we learned, after the cane toads. And Dogs, cats, pigs, goats, deer, sparrows, indian mynahs, pigeons, rabbits, calicivirus...

        1. Steven Roper

          Haha... except that dogs, cats, pigs, goats, deer, sparrows*, mynah birds, pigeons* rabbits** all preceded cane toads - by many decades!

          *Migratory birds can reach the continent on their own, we're not to blame for those!

          **We didn't import the calicivirus, we invented it to try and get rid of the rabbits. It seems to have a reasonable job, considering my mate's farm has been relatively rabbit-free for the past decade or so; what few rabbits remain are readily sorted out with his .22 rimfires ...

          1. Squander Two

            @ Steven Roper

            Australia is a tad more isolated than Great Britain. You can stand in England and see France, no telescope required. We have strict quarantine for animals that can't swim the channel to keep rabies out, but there's sod-all we can do about flying animals.

        2. You aint sin me, roit
          Coat

          Dogs, cats, pigs, goats, deer, sparrows, indian mynahs, pigeons, rabbits, calicivirus...

          And non-indigenous humans... aka "convicts".

          (Mine's the one with the didgeridoo in the pocket)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Steven Roper

      What about them rabbits and cats we keep hearing about?

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: @Steven Roper

        The hornets are able to fly - or be carried by wind - over the English Channel, according a fella on Radio 4's World at One today.

  12. DougS Silver badge

    "Not to poke a stick in the nest"

    Anyone that needs to warned not to poke a stick in a nest full of large stinging insects is too dumb to listen to such warnings.

    1. wikkity

      Re: "Not to poke a stick in the nest"

      I had a nest* in a sand pit this year, caught it early before there were too many wasps. I got rid of it by every now and then going outside with a plastic spade tied to the end of a big stick and mixing the sand up a little before running very quickly back in the house. By the time I shut the door and look out the window there'd be 40ish wasps flying around, I would not like to try that in the open with a full nest.

      * Regular yellow jackets

  13. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    They'll just go away once article 50 is triggered.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge

      They'll just go away once article 50 is triggered.

      That was said to block EU hornets, in particular East-European ones. And then you would actually strike deals with other countries, Asian among them, to make up the shortfall.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Arghhh!

    Not the bees!!!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1GadTfGFvU

  15. Grunchy

    Oh tosh, I can fix those nests.

    Here's my secret: I take my motorcycle helmet and close up the vents and make sure the chin guard is in place and tuck my pants into my boots (and tape 'em) and make sure my leather gloves are tucked into my leather jacket. Big wooly scarf to close up any remaining holes.

    Once I'm secure, I go out there with the spade and churn 'em up until the queen is dispatched. You'll know when the fighters start acting dazed. Then I crush em, up to 40 per minute.

    Make sure you've got a helper to check out your costume beforehand...

  16. Swiss Anton
    Devil

    Dark doings in Gloucestershire

    Is the Queen safe from these critters? Can HRH visit her eldest son Chaz (a Tetbury local) without being decapitated*. Is this nothing more than a Corbyn** plot to overthrow the Monarchy . I demand to know.

    *To be fair decapitation is an occupational hazard when it comes to being a monarch, though AFAIA, hornets have not hitherto, been the cause of a premature abdication.

    ** See icon

  17. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Coat

    Problem solved!

    "Asian honeybees surround them and cook them with their body heat as Asian honeybees can survive at higher temperatures than the hornets can."

    Just need to colonize Britain with a few thousand Asian honeybee hives. What's the worst that could happen?

    (Icon shows me getting into my sting-proof suit)

    1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Problem solved!

      > "Asian honeybees surround them and cook them with their body heat as Asian honeybees can survive at higher temperatures than the hornets can."

      This sounded intriguing, so I typed "hot asian honeys" into Google...

      1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
        Go

        Re: Problem solved!

        And I bet you're not worried about Asian hornets anymore, are you? Problem solved!

  18. A Ghost
    Alert

    I saw one of the fuckers, or one of its ilk, about 8 years ago, just hovering in a field, menacingly. The barb was half as long as its body. Bright Yellow and Black it was. Hovering. Menacingly.

    Don't matter how dumb you are - you know you don't want to get stung by one of them!

    I've seen a few of them over the years, but then again, I've lived a long time. Pretty rare they are.

    Beautiful though, in their way. And just as valid a life form as any here on Earth.

  19. 0laf Silver badge

    Aaaaaaaaargh, I said, Aaaaaaargh

    On holiday in Portugal what was I assume to be one of the giant hornets landed on my then 2yr old son's head whilst we were 20' up in a Ferris wheel.

    Gave the poor boy a right clout knocking the big bastard off him. My wife just about jumped out the carousel having a total phobia of anything bee or wasp like. I recall it being about 3" long and black but abject panic may have affected that memory.

    It bad enough that I've got a constant supply of drunk British wasps around my apple tree right now.

  20. R.Moore

    Vespa Velutina

    Its vespa velutina that's been spotted in Gloucestershire.

    See the National Bee Unit's post here

    http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/public/News/news.cfm#175

    and info in the species here

    http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageid=208

    They aren't particularly large and I think the clearest identifier are the 'yellow socks' it sports (that and the yellow band on the 4th segment of the abdomen, but it's size varies and sometimes is more difficult to make out).

    This is a particularly bad time for it to have been spotted because about now, any nest will be incubating hundreds of queens which will mate with drones and seek out locations for new nests. If they aren't found and destroyed very soon, the species will only be controlled by the cold winters, which are getting warmer..

    1. fedoraman
      Alert

      Re: Vespa Velutina

      I understand from my local beekeepers Association (Salisbury), that a single hornet was spotted by a seasonal bee inspector when they were inspecting an apiary for someone. There's no information yet on whether it was a worker, drone or queen.

      1. R.Moore

        Re: Vespa Velutina

        Yes, they also found a dead one, hence the positive ID.

  21. Aedile

    Great comic about the Giant Hornets.

    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/bees_vs_hornets

  22. x 7

    Vespa velutina nigrithorax

    According to Wiki "The form that is causing concern about its invasiveness in Europe is Vespa velutina nigrithorax" - so its a black immigrant form of super wopse. Could make them easier to spot.

  23. naive

    Vespa Velutina not Vespa Mandarinia

    The article is about Vespa Velutina (i.e. Asian Hornet) not Vespa Mandarinia (Asian giant Hornet).

    The first one is max. 0.8 inch in size, the latter up to 2 inch.

    Both eat bees and are unpleasant company for us humans. Velutina is the lesser lethal threat, Mandarinia killed in 2013 several dozens of people in China.

  24. earl grey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    bess i'm ok with

    Honeybees, little black bees, even bumblebees...

    Hornets, yellowjackets, wasps... not so much... The big 2 inch ones have been around here for a bit and my neighbor got them in his garage and barn... His one son got stung by one and it laid him out flat for a while. Most of the smaller ones have nests in the ground, but for some reason this year decided they wanted to live in the house and a couple of them stung the missus. she was not amused.

  25. R.Moore

    Monitor for vespa velutina

    The NBU has a 'how-to' on making a simple trap for asian hornets.

    The aim here is to help you monitor if they're in your area.

    http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/downloadNews.cfm?id=136

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Finally, a use

    For Bluray writer lasers.

    I have plans here for an Asian hornet nuking trap which identifies bees and leaves then alone but when a hornet of the desired size and shape ends up in the trap the Pi Zero administers a lethal dose of 395nm radiation.

    It will also work fine with an IR laser but even a partial hit will immobilize a hornet, as tested here.

    Works well on mosquitoes too!

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