back to article Thousands of hornets swarm over innocent fire service drone

A Jersey-based drone was brutally attacked by a swarm of Asian hornets after disturbing a nest thought to contain thousands of the angry insects. The brave drone was attacked by the hornets while being used by the Jersey Fire and Rescue service to locate the creatures' nest. Asian hornets are an invasive species which feeds on …

  1. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

    Always said that hornets are scumbags.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Stop the racism

      Can we stop with the racism please. It's out of order to be picking on Asian hornets like that. We shouldn't assume that they're going to be badly behaved just because they're foreign; surely if we give them a chance, they might settle down and learn to behave like European hornets?

      1. Ambivalous Crowboard
        Trollface

        Re: Stop the racism

        The female ones are the worst. Especially the ones with children and no husbands, and their shattered iPhone 5's hanging out their back pockets.

        *tuts, audibly*

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Scumbags" is understating matters

      Always said that hornets are scumbags.

      These hornets are actually spectacularly bad - if they gain a foothold in Jersey or in the UK they are quite capable of wiping out a substantial part of the ecosystem because they have no natural predators there. They really are no joke.

      It's no exaggeration to call these hornets one of the single most dangerous threats to the ecosystem for quite a few years, and thanks to global warming conditions for them become more favourable year on year. They're not the only species able to migrate due to the warmer weather, but at present they are one of the most dangerous ones.

      Download the app, and report ANY you see so they can be dealt with (the app makes that easy). Last but not least, stay away from them - they fly much faster than you can run.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Alert

        Re: "Scumbags" is understating matters

        some Asian hornets get REALLY big, close to 2" long

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asian_giant_hornet

        you do NOT want things like this in Europe.

        1. Nick Porter

          Re: I think Torvalds is losing it

          Those aren't the ones that are invasive in Europe. In fact the Asian hornets that we have (Vespa velutina) is actually smaller than the native European Hornet (Vespa crabro).

          Of course this hasn't stopped various tabloid printing pictures and scare stories about the Asian Giant Hornet (Vespa mandarina) which has never been found in Europe.

          By the way hornets, of any size, have plenty of predators in the UK - I've seen them taken by magpies, kestrels, merlins and even emperor dragonflies. That's not to say that they aren't a serious threat to bee colonies but the whole "giant mad asian hornets will sting your babies" thing is is getting silly.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Scumbags" is understating matters

          It's ok we voted to leave.

        3. far2much4me

          Re: "Scumbags" is understating matters

          "some Asian hornets get REALLY big, close to 2" long...you do NOT want things like this in Europe."

          Of course not. Europe does not want non-metric hornets!

        4. Fan of Mr. Obvious
          Coat

          Re: "Scumbags" is... Wiki link

          From the wiki - "Drones (males) are similar to females, but lack a stinger."

          Now we need to go back to the original article. Was this a male Drone, or a drone drone?

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Scumbags" is understating matters

          Doubt that the people in Asia want them there either.....

      2. Adam 1 Silver badge

        Re: "Scumbags" is understating matters

        > they are quite capable of wiping out a substantial part of the ecosystem because they have no natural predators there. They really are no joke.

        ¿sɹǝpᴉds ɹno ɟo ǝɯos ʍoɹɹoq oʇ ǝʞᴉl noʎ plnoM

        1. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: "Scumbags" is understating matters

          "¿sɹǝpᴉds ɹno ɟo ǝɯos ʍoɹɹoq oʇ ǝʞᴉl noʎ plnoM"

          NO

          https://www.theguardian.com/environment/video/2016/oct/24/huge-huntsman-spider-tries-to-eat-a-mouse-video

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: "Scumbags" is understating matters

          No, and before you ask, no cane toads either.

  2. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Pest controllers are aware of its location and are making plans to destroy the nest. ITV reckons that the nest is around a metre long and may contain up to 200 queens, which can each start a new nest.

    200 queens? Take off and nuke it from orbit, quick!

    1. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

      You can't make that type of decision, you're just a grunt!

      No offence.

    2. Korev Silver badge
      Mushroom

      "200 queens? Take off and nuke it from orbit, quick!"

      You forgot the icon ->

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Fit that drone with a flame thrower

        Or the largest air fuel bomb it can carry, just to be sure.

    3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Joke

      200 Queens?

      Take one nest and send it (collect) to Kim Jong in Norks.

      That will deal with him once and for all

      1. PhilipN Silver badge

        Re: 200 Queens?

        ..and 200 mothers-in-law? in one nest?

        No wonder the working drone hornets are so pissed off.

        1. Captain Hogwash Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: working drone

          Workers and drones are not the same thing.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 200 Queens?

        Take one nest and send it (collect) to Kim Jong in Norks.

        That will deal with him once and for all

        Norks being in Asia, they probably already have them.

      3. moiety

        Re: 200 Queens?

        That will deal with him once and for all

        The hornets, or the bill for postage?

    4. veti Silver badge

      Send for Wee Mad Arthur

      'Tis unsporting not to hit them on the wing.

  3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Where's the AI angle?

    Isn't someone developing an algorithm to steer "search and destroy" drones that can rid the planet of hornets and wasps? (And yes, they probably will, and we'll probably regret it, not least because Mother Nature will find something to fill the gap.)

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Where's the AI angle?

      There is probably a niche market there for someone to repurpose Reaper drones to tackle these buggers and other similar pests. 'I love the smell of naplam first thing in the morning'

      Asian Hornets are like the Bruce Lee of the wasp family, very fast and deadly, they even have the yellow and black track suit a la 'Game of Death'

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: Where's the AI angle?

      "Isn't someone developing an algorithm to steer "search and destroy" drones that can rid the planet of hornets and wasps"

      genetically engineered diseases would probably work better [so long as they don't jump across species]

      And then I'd like to add a few more bugs to that 'genocide' list, from cockroaches to biting flies. Nature WOULD fill up the gaps, with species that are less irritating [or resistant mutations, which we'd have to go after on a case by case basis].

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Where's the AI angle?

        @ bombastic bob. Wasps are not all bad, the common wasps eat a lot of things like crane fly larvae (leather jackets) that eat the roots of your lawn, they also prey on quite a lot of other larvae. Wasps are at their worst when the queens stop laying and there are no wasp larvae in the nest, they normally depend on a sugary excretion from the larvae that is their food. That's why at the end of summer early autumn wasps are all over your jam sandwich at a picnic, they are literally starving to death. Other wasps, the parasitic ones are important for keeping things like cereal moths down as they lay eggs in the moth larvae a bit like Aliens and without the non pollinating fig wasp there would be no figs. Wasps probably play at least as big a part in the ecosystem as bees if not bigger, with no wasps there would be a lot of other unpleasant bugs around.

        Just try not to piss them off when they piss you off!

        http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/in-defence-of-wasps-why-squashing-them-comes-with-a-sting-in-the-tale-a7144306.html

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Where's the AI angle?

          Does this count? As usual The Simpsons did it first.

        2. Triggerfish

          Re: Where's the AI angle?

          As others have said, ecological disaster and for the most part you leave em alone they will leave you alone. Even if it lands on you stay still don't flail about it will probably just take off an leave. Mosquitos and other annoying insects also fall in the category of pain but getting rid may not be a good idea. mossies for example pollinate and feed a lot of bats.

          Also I have hit an Asian Hornet with one of those electric bug tennis rackets, it just looked annoyed any drone would probably have to be a scaled down Apache gunship.

          1. TRT Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Where's the AI angle?

            Mosquitos drink blood. Bats eat mosquitos. Ergo bats feed on blood.

            Mine's the one with the clove of garlic, the crucifix and the bottle of holy water in the pocket.

          2. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Mushroom

            Re: Where's the AI angle?

            Also I have hit an Asian Hornet with one of those electric bug tennis rackets, it just looked annoyed

            You want the MegaZap, although getting to wave one around like a tennis racket would be a bit of a problem, I guess. Maybe fit one to a cherry-picker?

            1. Triggerfish

              Re: Where's the AI angle? @Stoneshop

              I could do with one for the balcony. :)

              I would think that would do the job, dodgy one from a Thai market that had hell of a zap and vaporised mossies, just caused it to sit there and crackle while looking like an angry manga death wasp, a tad disconcerting.

              1. Stoneshop Silver badge

                Re: Where's the AI angle? @Stoneshop

                At home we have a smallish industrial unit with two of those blue/UV tubes (rural area with insects of various species being common occurrence, so it's worth its weight in gold), and recently the (electronic) ballast went to meet its maker*. Taking a peek inside the zapping business was a 1kV transformer rated at a couple of mA, with interlock switches so that getting the cremation tray out would not be fraught with tension.

                Regular mozzies and fruit flies just go *brzt*, but several other flying irritants sometimes manage to frizzle for several seconds, some even ten or more, and stink up the place to boot.

                * Italian, so utterly unsurprising.

                1. TheVogon Silver badge

                  Re: Where's the AI angle? @Stoneshop

                  "At home we have a smallish industrial unit with two of those blue/UV tubes"

                  I have an Insectocutor near my conservatory with one round UV tube. It's very effective when fitted to a dusk-till-dawn security plug. The large tray underneath is quickly filled with incinerated insect parts....

                  1. Triggerfish

                    Re: Where's the AI angle? @Stoneshop

                    TBH it's the mosquitoes that are more of a worry here than the hornets, it being a Dengue area. Luckily there is a lot of bats round here, plus entertaining to watch.

            2. W4YBO

              Re: Where's the AI angle?

              I find #8 shot, full choke, from 20 - 25 yards is very effective on large hornet's nests.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Eek!

    As someone who is pretty nervous of the aggressive little bastards which are ordinary wasps ...

    ...OH MY F...G GOD ... FLEEEEEE!

    1. Chris Miller

      Re: Eek!

      Hornets (the European ones found in the UK, anyway) are much less aggressive than wasps. They have little interest in your picnic sandwiches, either, their main food source being other insects.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Eek!

        Concur.

        They are becoming more common too. We shared a beach with them in Lun in Croatia this summer and there were some around in late August when we had lunch in Kassel near the river. It will not get into your plate, picnic basket, glass, etc. It has no interest of you and it minds its own business which is killing other insects. You can see it landing on a stone or a bush next to you, cleaning itself, then taking off and minding its own business.

        Granted, having them around is like having a neighbor with a machine gun, but usually, if you do not mess with them, they do not mess with you.

        The real danger are the nests - the hornets have a different attack mode defending a nest - they release a hormone marking you as a target and then you are pretty much a guaranteed hospital case.

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Eek!

      Too right. I'm allergic to uk wasps ( I have several land speed records to prove it) and it seems these bastards are even more aggressive. We have some European Hornets nesting around here somewhere but they're a bit like big dogs - no need to be aggressive - and seem quite chilled most of the time - assuming I'm not making Bolt look like he's standing still.

    3. Pigro

      Re: Eek!

      Yup, I have two fig trees in my place in Italy, and there is constant traffic from european hornets. We sit on the back terrace, about 10 feet from the nearest fig tree, and no hornet has ever paid us the slightest bit of attention. Even when I climb the tree in mid-August, to pluck the best figs, they will coexist quite happily in general.

      Glad their nest isn't in my garden, though!

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Eek!

        Even when I climb the tree in mid-August, to pluck the best figs, they will coexist quite happily in general.

        Pretty much describes them - you do not mess with them, they do not mess with you. You will not find them trying to get into your plate, drink, etc. They like fig and olive tree gardens because there is plenty of insects to hunt including other wasps. They are nowhere as keen on bees as people pretend them to be. The reason is that high dose of sugar is actually lethal for wasp young. So the adult has to do extra work to squeeze every bit of nectar out of bees. As a result if they can raid a wasps nest they will do so instead of raiding beehives.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Doesn't bear thinking about

    They are just like massive wasps, wasps that have achieved "Asian Level".

    (I can't see them doing anything about the European ones already here after brexit either)

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Nick Porter

      Re: Doesn't bear thinking about

      The Asian ones are smaller than European Hornets, but potentially more aggressive. European Hornets are pretty docile, despite looking bloody terrifying.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Doesn't bear thinking about

        Used the get the European ones in a flat I rented, first time I saw one my mind didn't work very well as references like "known size-range for wasp" said it was "really close" but it's shadow was on the far wall and it's noise was far too low. After a while I got used to them and if I heard that hum in the place I'd let it out without bother to me or them.

        I read they would bump you as a warning before stinging, can't kill polite insects now can we.

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Holmes

    "drone was attacked by the hornets while being used [..] to locate the creatures' nest"

    Found it, I'd say.

    1 meter long + 200 queens ? Forget the firemen, bring in the flamethrowers !

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "drone was attacked by the hornets while being used [..] to locate the creatures' nest"

        Ficam-D.

        Applied with a 3 metre lance to the entrance hole. Job done in a matter of seconds, no more hornets in a matter of minutes.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "drone was attacked by the hornets while being used [..] to locate the creatures' nest"

            Ficam D is applied in SMALL quantities directly to the nest entrance. This minimises the chance of ANY other animal coming into contact with it. It is also one of the only fully reversible acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. It is MUCH safer than Fipronil for that very reason. ANY qualified pestie is aware of the potential hazards and wont spray if there is a wind and a waterway nearby.

            Which is why, in the UK, Ficam-D is the preferred wasp treatment.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "drone was attacked by the hornets while being used [..] to locate the creatures' nest"

                No. I didn't. That's what ladders, hoists and cherry pickers are for.

                And if any local bees are attracted to your fipronil bait?? Fipronil is extremely effective because it stays toxic almost indefinitely.

                Its used in cockroach control and will work up to 7 iterations down the line, so one lethal dose to one roach is lethal for the next 6 that eat that one!!!

                I'll wager my ficam causes less collateral damage than your fipronil.

                THATS why the UK doesn't routinely use it for wasp control.

      3. Solly

        Re: "drone was attacked by the hornets while being used [..] to locate the creatures' nest"

        The problem is preventing the existing insect species also exposing themselves to the Fipronil.

        Perhaps someone could use machine learning of these hornets, sorta like hotdog not hotdog

        https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/07/10/skills_for_ai/

        but with images of the hornets. A camera on a dual baited switchable food dispenser (one benign, the other poisoned) could use such a system where only the Asian Hornets receive the poisoned trough?

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: "drone was attacked by the hornets while being used [..] to locate the creatures' nest"

      Not sure what they're like at night - my dad used to go out with a torch and cut out wasp nests from bushes and pop them into a plastic bag and then in the freezer and he said they dont come out just buzz warnings.

      Bloody works of art those nests!

      1. Korev Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: "drone was attacked by the hornets while being used [..] to locate the creatures' nest"

        When I was young my dad found a wasps' nest in a granite wall in the back garden. He cemented it up and figured that it was all sorted; he noticed that they seemed to be trying to get though the cement and figured that they were wasting their time. The next day there was a hole in the cement about half a centimetre big with the workers flying in and out of it!

        What he should have done (from orbit of course), although it may have made a mess of their conservatory....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "drone was attacked by the hornets while being used [..] to locate the creatures' nest"

          I've seen them chew through mastic where folks decided to just seal the entrance to the nest area.

          What you have to take into account is that you are separating a mother from her young and both will do anything to be reunited.

        2. Robin 3
          Flame

          Re: "drone was attacked by the hornets while being used [..] to locate the creatures' nest"

          we used to wrap up in all our motorbike (well 125) clobber, and open hostilities with flaming wd40.

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: "drone was attacked by the hornets while being used [..] to locate the creatures' nest"

          "He cemented it up and figured that it was all sorted"

          Best thing is to get the insecticidal foam. Either they fail to get through (I've seen them milling around without actually trying to get through) it or they carry it back to the nest. Either way is effective. Then cement it up.

        4. Jess--

          Re: "drone was attacked by the hornets while being used [..] to locate the creatures' nest"

          we get normal wasp nest underground in the garden here.

          I just stick a 12v high speed fan (9 inch) over the entrance and leave it for a week.

          no more wasps (plenty of wings left over though)

    3. Sloppy Crapmonster

      Re: "drone was attacked by the hornets while being used [..] to locate the creatures' nest"

      The Fahrenheit 451-style firemen, maybe?

  7. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Surely this is all backwards

    Don't drones gang up on queens, in the mating season?

  8. Dwarf Silver badge

    Increase the revs to full power !

    So, we've found their weakness and it seems simple to exploit, make the blades out of meta, turn up the revs l and go find the hornets.

    Generally this is no different to what they do to male chicks in the chicken farms, so I'm sure it won't upset any of the insectists (assuming that's the equivalent of an environmentalist for bugs).

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Increase the revs to full power !

      that's an interesting idea... make the blades razor sharp, and tune them to frequencies that particularly irritate and anger the wasps. Like a moth to a flame...

  9. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    The attacked drone is undoubtedly watching the YouTube videos of the Chinese drone equipped with a flame thrower, and sighing "I wish I had one".

  10. handleoclast Silver badge
    Flame

    Paraffin is the answer

    Paraffin was my father's remedy for wasp nests.

    Of course, there was a little more to it than that.

    1) Ball up a sheet of newspaper.

    2) Fill empty washing-up liquid bottle with paraffin.

    3) Squirt a little paraffin on newspaper.

    4) Ignite newspaper.

    5) Throw burning newspaper to ground directly below nest.

    6) Squirt paraffin at burning newspaper then move jet up towards nest.

    7) Keep squirting paraffin at nest until it's all burned up.

    8) Keep squirting anyway, to catch the wasps returning home and see them fly into the flames.

    Works for nests in hedges (the hedge does grow back, eventually).

    Works for nests in holes in the ground.

    Works for nests in dry-stone walls.

    Works for nests in attics, although there may be some collateral damage.

    Icon for obvious reasons.

    1. DagD

      Re: Paraffin is the answer

      Great balls of fire.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Paraffin is the answer

      Not safe, not licensed for destruction of wasps nests.

      I mean, FFS just go buy some bendiocarb ant powder, at night put a *puff up the entrance to the nest, repeat for a few days.

      Job done..

      *Not like Liberace.

      1. handleoclast Silver badge

        Re: Paraffin is the answer

        @cornz 1

        Not safe, not licensed for destruction of wasps nests.

        Yes, but streams of flaming paraffin destroying a wasps' nest are fun. A lot more fun than bendiocarb.

    3. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Paraffin is the answer

      "Works for nests in attics, although there may be some collateral damage."

      Amazon sell little plastic fumigation candles that you light and then burn for about 30 seconds and then emit a cloud of white insecticide smoke. One of those set in the middle of my loft cleared out a large nest in my eaves without issue...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can I get a pinch of salt?

    Google "Daily Mail" and "Asian Hornet"

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Can I get a pinch of salt?

      You need a bucket. They had some pictures of the Indonesian variety which is the most venomous wasp on the planet to illustrate one of their articles. Same article, further down, a giant Japanese one. They live like f*** 4000km+ away from each other.

      Here is the article for the reference:

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2462797/30-Chinese-children-suffering-organ-failure-stung-giant-hornets.html

      First pic is indonesian, second is Vespa Mandarina. Article after that surprise surprise spreads scare stories that we got these too. Neither of them had anything to do with the Chinese incident by the way. If a child was stung 10+ times by either one of them the child would be not hospital, but morgue material.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Can I get a pinch of salt?

        "They live like f*** 4000km+ away from each other."

        It's the Mail. Their stock response would be that they're all immigrants here.

  12. bee_paul
    Alert

    Info on Asian hornets in UK

    You can read up on the Asian hornet threat to the UK at the British Beekeepers site here: https://www.bbka.org.uk/members/asian_hornet_an_update_and_request_for_increased_vigilance

    It's widespread across France, and is destroying a large number of bee colonies there each year; it is much more predatory than the European hornet.

    First nest found last year in UK was at top of 55ft tree, and I'm told this is typical. So don't imagine you're going to tackle it yourself; call in the contacts on that webpage.

    The figure of 200 queens is scary but luckily 95% of them die over a typical winter. Still bad news that 10 queens could start a new nest the following year. Try to trap them in Feb as they emerge before they set up new nest. Watch video on making your own monitoring trap. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CR6MUekAjMo&t=2s

    1. handleoclast Silver badge

      Re: Info on Asian hornets in UK

      Maybe they'll kill the oak processionary moths that have appeared in the south-east of England. They're similar to the pine variety that plague France. Very nasty things.

      Our climate used to be too cold for them to survive here. It's a good job global warming doesn't exist (ask Bombastic Bob for details) or we'd have a lot more of them. /s

    2. Potemkine! Silver badge

      Re: Info on Asian hornets in UK

      It's widespread across France, and is destroying a large number of bee colonies there each year;

      Here in southern France we saw plenty of asian hornets last year; much less this one.

      I hope the lack of genetic diversity begins to stop the invasion!

  13. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Whelp

    I won't be sleeping tonight this week

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can we not outsource our wasps?

  15. John F***ing Stepp

    What I used to do

    Take a bunch of freinds round to watch, shoot the nest with a slingshot, stand very still while wasps chase freinds.

    Ran out of freinds; had to quit.

    1. Pangasinan Philippines

      Re: What I used to do

      Take a bunch of freinds round to watch, shoot the nest with a slingshot, stand very still while wasps chase freinds.

      Ran out of freinds; had to quit.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Remember; i before e except after c

      Works most of the time

      1. John F***ing Stepp

        Works most of the time

        Thanks.

        Knew something was a bit wrong there; this thing only has spell check when I don't need it.

      2. imanidiot Silver badge
      3. Spacedinvader
        Facepalm

        Re: What I used to do

        Wierd sceince?

  16. DeeCee

    Kill it with fire

    Didnt they already make drones with attached flamethrowers ?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nest in Garden

    I had a European hornet nest in our garden last year. I came to an amicable arrangement with them - I wont disturb you if you dont disturb me. Seemed to work OK and we managed to carry on alongside each other without any problems. The nest disapppeared over winter and I've not seen one hornet this summer. You can live happily alongside these hornet and wasps nests if yiu choose not to antagonise each other.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Nest in Garden

      European hornets, german and common wasps are not actually agressive like most people seem to think. Leave them alone and they don't care about you. These Asian hornets however need to be exterminated with extreme prejudice. Not only are they more agressive but they do massive damage to native insect populations.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nest in Garden

        Actually, toward the end of the wasp season (late sept, October) UK wasps (Vespula vulgaris and V.Germanica) can become EXTREMELY aggressive and will attack with no provocation.

        Mainly caused by them eating fermenting fruit and getting pissed!!!

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: Nest in Garden

          We have the same species this side of the North Sea (Netherlands), I've never experienced wasps attacking without provocation. Might happen in certain conditions, but most of the time people's reaction to wasps is just overly dramatic

        2. handleoclast Silver badge

          Re: Nest in Garden

          @cornz 1

          My parents had a few apple trees. Apples would fall off, become bruised, and start to ferment. Which attracted loads of wasps, who then went on all-day benders.

          I am of the opinion that wasps are the skinheads of the insect world. They get pissed and start fights. If you're lucky they get so pissed that all they can do is stumble around on the ground and you can give them a good kicking. If you're unlucky they don't indulge quite so much and do some drunken flying and stinging.

          Bastards.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Nest in Garden

            I took a sting in the eyelid last month.

            I had only just injected the dust two storeys up into an airbrick. Next thing, there were DOZENS of them coming straight at me.

            One made it.

            12 hours later the RH side of my Chevvy Chase looked like Tyson had bitch-slapped me.

  18. JimmyPage Silver badge
    FAIL

    The whole article is a spectacular damning ...

    of the current breathless talk of "AI" ...

    We still can't make a machine which can take on *individual* flying insects.

    (Or am I just grumpy after a summer trying to swat flies ????)

  19. Bob Dunlop
    Facepalm

    Identity problem

    Are you sure of that picture? Looks like the European hornet (Vespa crabo) to me. Asian hornet has a more orange head.

    https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/nonnativespecies/downloadDocument.cfm?id=646

  20. Outer mongolian custard monster from outer space (honest)

    Had asian hornet nest here (mainland europe). All summer the hornets were mooching round the house and patio looking for food, and they were BIG. Not incredibly aggressive but not something thats pleasant to share a room with when theyve annoyed after been trapped in there. We'd not been able to find the nest then a neighbor pointed it out as it was way up in the treeline on a boundary that it was binoculars territory to confirm what it was, and they were having the same experience.

    So we called the fire brigade as they deal with them here as theyre dangerous, and they came out and confirmed it was a asian hornet hive, but it was so high they were talking of us privately hiring a specialist lift access platform so they could deliver the poisen, 1000e for a day... I was mulling over how I could use my drone to deliver some poison to the nest direct or how it would cope with being attacked while doing this but that night, the nest mysteriously fell out the tree after a large gunshot sound from the neighbors garden during the early hours, and the firebrigade were called to come and deal with the peed off mass now sat on the ground underneath the tree which they did wearing masses of protective clothing. They took part of the nest off for analysis, and the rest and some of the larve were taken to the local schools to teach them about them.

    So yeah, a) I'm shocked nobody is yet using drones for poisen control delivery, and b)theyre dangerous buggers.

  21. IPCurious

    Interesting proposal from France for destroying hornet nests: shoot them with lots of shotguns.

    http://www.lefigaro.fr/jardin/2016/10/07/30008-20161007ARTFIG00303-frelon-asiatique-comment-detruire-les-nids-au-fusil-de-chasse.php

  22. ukgnome Silver badge

    When I was a mere lad I used to play on the waste land. That was until a boy got stung so many times he died. Hornets are evil and should be drowned, preferably in molten iron.

  23. Alistair Silver badge
    Windows

    Buggers

    (Literally apparently)

    Those hornets sound nasty. I'm hoping *we* never get them -- we've enough trouble with the Asian Horned Beetle around here. (damned furriner bugs)

    We have (northern left pond side) several varieties of hornet and wasps about. Last summer we ended up with wasps in the air gap between brick and framing of our house. Wasps being wasps I wasn't particularly concerned, although the entrance was over our back yard door, it was annoying, but not concerning -- our wasps are pretty laid back most times. I was *far* more concerned about the black hornets in the back shed, not because they're any less laid back but because the nest was at the back of a shelf in the shed where my smaller yard tools were stored, and I was quite certain one of us was going to toss a tool back on the shelf and whallop the nest. Thing is,in this case, the specific wasp variant, never reuses a nest, and the hornets were of the type that winter under ground. I'd no wasps this spring (and about 4 pounds of diatamaceous earth in the air gap as well) and the hornets nest was removed and donated to the youngest's school for educational purposes this spring.

    My neighbour on the other hand spent an inordinate amount of time (we're in a semi) attempting to spray huge amounts of noxious substances into the vent gap the wasps were using as an entrance/exit, and at one point called the city to report it as a 'terrible risk' to their property and safety. I'd say the quantity of noxious poisons the damned twit was spraying on MY side of the property was the 'terrible risk' -- to MY family. Fortunately, the fellow from the city that showed up was one with both some experience in the real world and some awareness. He agreed it would be better to leave them mostly alone, and to deal with it in mid winter when they were dormant. -- so in late January I pumped the diatomatceous earth into the wall gap with the exhaust from my shop vac. -- And the damned idiot on the other side complained to the city *again* -- that I was spraying noxious chemicals into the air gap..... .fuxwits

    All said, I'd still rather have the bugs about. Especially since I'm considering a full blown gardening exercise. They all contribute something to the system in some odd way.

  24. DagD

    Finally - a reason to buy a drone.

    Now to figure out how to attach a can of raid and fire remotely....

  25. Allonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Obligatory XKCD

    https://www.xkcd.com/1824/

  26. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    If the drones attract the hornets send them up with a flypaper payload.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re. nuke it from orbit

    Fire a "Little Feller" aka nuclear artillery round on it.

    Failing that, a full barrage of photons, maximum yield, full spread.

    (fx: Riker voice)

  28. Potemkine! Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Marevick

    Let's put some missiles on drones to shoot hornets nets!

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re. Maverick

    Rail guns.

    (fitting a rail gun to a drone is absurd but maybe something ground based?)

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019