July 2019Below is an extract from our July 2019 Newsletter. To see a full copy of the Newsletter please click on the link in the righthand column.
Vespa velutina, is an invasive non-native species from Asia. If you find one you must report it. It arrived in France in 2004 and has spread rapidly. As a highly effective predator of insects, including honey bees and other beneficial species, it can cause significant losses to bee colonies, other native species and potentially ecosystems. It is expected that the places it is most likely to be found in numbers are in southern parts of England (it may be able to cross the channel from France) or in goods among which it could be accidentally imported (such as soil with imported pot plants, cut flowers, fruit and timber). Active between April and November (peak August/September).
The queens are up to 3 cm in length; workers up to 25 mm (slightly smaller than the native European hornet Vespa crabro) An entirely dark brown or black velvety body, bordered with a fine yellow band Only one band on the abdomen: 4th abdominal segment almost entirely yellow/orange. Commonly known as the ‘Yellow legged hornet’. Head black with an orange-yellow face. This is a day flying species which, unlike the European hornet, ceases activity at dusk. More information can be found online at asian hornets gov uk or notices around our allotment grounds. If you think you have spotted a nest on no account tackle this by yourself but contact Peter Bashford, our ground steward on firstname.lastname@example.org