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Asian Hornet Sightings UK

The UK Government Website has reported and confirmed that a Asian Hornet nest was found high up in a Oak tree and was destroyed on the 4th October. Further sightings have also been reported following the destruction of the nest, which may suggest there is another nest, following the sighted of Asian Hornets in Christchurch, Hampshire on 1st October 2019. On the 10th October 2019 UK Gov reports confirmed the finding and destruction of a primary Asian hornet nest near Christchurch, Dorset. This is close to the nest at Christchurch destroyed on 1st October 2019. Asian Hornets can be identified by the orange face and the single orange band on the abdomen. This brings the total number of sightings/actions in the UK this year 2019 to 7 and in 2018 to 9. A total of 13 incidents in the two years, with the highest frequency in the South East and South West of the UK.

Asian Hornet
Hornet – Jean Haxaire
Asian Hornet Gloucestershire

Asian Hornets

Since 2016 the following confirmed Asian Hornets by UK Gov together with various outcomes are tabulated for the years 2019, 2018

10th Oct Christchurch, Dorset primary nest destroyed
4th Oct Christchurch, Dorset possible other nest(s)
4th Oct Christchurch, Dorset nest destroyed
1st Oct Christchurch, Dorset confirmed sighting
9th Sept Ashford, Kent single hornet captured
2nd Sept Tamworth area, Staffordshire nest destroyed
3 July New Milton, Hampshire single hornet captured

Source: UK Government Confirmed Asian Hornets for 2019

15th Oct Dungeness, Kent single hornet captured
28th Sept Guildford, Surrey single dead hornet
26th Sept Brockenhurst, Hampshire nest destroyed
24th Sept New Alresford, Hampshire nest destroyed
20th Sept Fowey, Cornwall nest destroyed
9th Sept Hull, Yorkshire single dead hornet
7th Sept Liskeard, Cornwall single dead hornet
3th Sept Fowey, Cornwall nest destroyed
13th April Bury, Lancashire single hornet sighted (2)

Source: UK Government Confirmed Asian Hornets for 2018 (2) single hornet sighted with photograph

13th Oct Woolacombe in Devon nest destroyed
26th Sept Woolacombe in Devon confirmed a sighting

Source: UK Government Confirmed Asian Hornets for 2017

Sept Tetbury area, Gloucestershire nest destroyed in Oct
Oct North Somerset Two dead Asian hornets (1)

Source: UK Government Confirmed Asian Hornets for 2016 (1) Two dead Asian hornets were discovered in separate locations. For more information on Asian Hornets click here

A Blind Beekeeper listens to the sounds of the Hives

A blind beekeeper in Petaluma, California listens to the sounds of the Hives while working with them. Aerial Gilbert kept Bees before she went blind in 1988, beekeeping was one of the hobbies she figured she’d have to give up. But in the years since, she has found ways to do the things she used to before losing her sight. And that has meant relying a lot more on the power of sound. Aerial Gilbert says “I can hear how the bees are behaving — if they’re agitated, if there are other bees trying to get in the hive, or if it’s too crowded or too hot or too cold,” What you want to hear, she said, is a calm steady buzz. That indicates that everything in the hive is going smoothly.

Aerial Gilbert about to work on one of her hives, July 7th 20116 (Crissy Pascual/Argus-Courier Staff)

Aerial says “When I worked with my bees, the information I was paying attention to was visual. Now it’s the other senses.” Before Aerial lost here sight she says “There’s so much visual information you get by looking at the honeycomb and the brood nest,” Gilbert said. “I didn’t think I could be a good beekeeper without being able to see.” Aerial Gilbert doesn’t hesitate to open the hives in her backyard and reach down into the humming mass of thousands of bees. Her fingers softly brush against their bodies, and they don’t seem to mind. She calls the bees her “girls.”

Aerial listning to the sound inside one of her hives, July 7th 2016 (Crissy Pascual/Argus-Courier Staff)

You can hear the Bees doing the waggle dance

Aerial Gilbert says you can hear the Bee waggle dance “The dance, it kind of happens in a little circle. You’ll hear ‘bzzz bzzz bzzz,’ and it’s different patterns depending on how far away the pollen is”. Whenever Gilbert is out working on the hives, she is listening to them, keeping tabs on how they sound. She also bought some microphones to make recordings inside the hive. Those recordings give her an audio snapshot of the bees’ condition and more specific insight into what’s happening inside the hives. She can hear the waggle dance, which is the movement bees make to tell others where to find pollen

Other Blind people who studied Bee Behaviour

Swiss Entomologist Francois Huber lost his sight in his teens, the 18th century Entomologist discovered and proved how Bees use their antennae to communicate and that queens mate in the air. He described how male drone bees — are responsible for mating with the queen — and were killed after mating with the Queen.

‘Bumblebee medicine’ found in heather

Researchers from Kew and Royal Holloway, University of London, investigated plants for medicinal properties that could protect pollinators in the wild. They tested nectar from 17 plants, including ivy, heather, clover and dandelion, for medicinal effects on a parasite found in the gut of bumblebees. Nectar from heather (Calluna vulgaris) had the most potent effect, due to a single chemical known as callunene. The strawberry tree (Arbutus unendo) and lime trees also had some medicinal activity. “Understanding which plants are needed to maintain a healthy balance between bees and their parasites can help us restore habitats that maximise bee health,” said Prof Mark Brown from Royal Holloway. Dr Koch said the chemical is also found in heather honey, which deserves further research for possible benefits in humans. The research is published in the journal Current Biology (From BBC Science & Environment ).

So maybe Beekeepers should consider taking their Honey Bee Hives to the Heather during the summer months. Since the findings would suggest that this ‘natural medicine’ is beneficial to the bumblebee species and the parasites found in the gut this could also be beneficial to Honey Bees and improve the health of the Bee colony and Hives. For information on Bumblebees click here

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