You may have seen in The News, that the USA has found a new enemy called 'The Murder Hornet'. They are new arrivals over there, and they are panicking, hence the name.
We in Europe are quite used to these beasts, they have joined our regular Hornets over the past decade or so, and fly about mostly unhindered.
Here we simply call them Asian Hornets, and like the ordinary European Hornets, we try to avoid them.
If left alone they don't attack, but if you start whacking at them with rolled-up newspapers, they won't be happy. There are about 200 deaths annually from their stings, so best not to upset them.
Personally I just ignore them. We pick all our 'decorative' grapes early (the ones that cover the front of the house) so as not to attract them; but otherwise we just live together as best we can. They are particularly fond of Figs, and we have several trees.
Of course I do bait traps with a mix of beer, jam, and honey, and I do manage to kill several hundred each year (see above photo).
I was unreliably informed a while ago that Hornets are a protected species in Germany, and you can expect a fine of €50,000 if you hurt one.
The Germans are very strange people! Today is VE Day; the day they unconditionally surrendered, all of 75 years ago.
The comments here are going to be amusing today. Thank you in advance, nothing better than winding up socialists and Germans.ReplyDelete
If telling the truth is 'winding up', then I'm guilty. There's always one who disputes almost everything.Delete
Are these the same Asian Hornets that destroy beehives? We used to have traps around all our hives in UK as soon as news broke that Asian hornets were in Europe. All beekeepers had to be on high alert because of the their potential to wipe out entire colonies of bees. (They eat the bees.) We feel certain even the Germans aren't protecting those hornets.ReplyDelete
Yes, horrible creatures. They can decimate hives in no time. The last time I wrote about them, I was scolded by a German reader who insisted that they were protected, and told me about the fine.Delete
Tigger is correct.Delete
May I remind you that the European hornet is beneficial not only to the ecosystem as a whole. It is also the gardener's friend since they largely consume what we consider pests, not least large quantities of flies. Because they are vital within the ecosystem their nests are protected (to varying degrees, and not just in Germany) and why you will have to give notice if you wish to take down, or move, a (live) nest. However, the sub species of the Asian hornet likes to feast on bees with, as Tigger outlines, potentially devastating results, not just for the bees, the beekeepers but all of us since we rely on bees pollinating plants. To put it another way: Not all hornets are equal.
They may not be equal, but they both have very nasty stings, and can kill people. I'm sure that snakes, wasps, and slugs are all beneficial in some way or other; but don't mess with Cro.Delete
Sorry, Cro, you really don't get what protecting a species is about. Let's forget for a moment that the wasps you mention are far more aggressive than hornets (I am talking on a higher authority than either yours or mine, not from prejudice). I agree that they "can kill people". So can people. Kill people. And, what do you know, they [people] do [kill people].Delete
Happy VE Day, Cro. And please do remember what the E in VE stands for. EUROPE. Not England.
And V stands for Victory, and VE day is the day Germany surrendered.Delete
Next, Rachel, you'll be telling me that England won the World Cup in 1966.Delete
Hardly the same league, but, yes we did.Delete
VE stands for Victory in Europe; not Victory by Europeans. Heaven forbid all those surrender Monkeys laid claim to any victory.Delete
I am reminded this morning of Basil Fawlty 'Don't mention the war'.ReplyDelete
My mother used to tell me, 'never do anything that you will later be ashamed of'. I think she should have told that to the Germans. Too late now.Delete
First things first... you really need to start reading a different "paper"... as an entomologist I feel it necessary, Cro, to "correct" today's posting....ReplyDelete
 the so-called "murder hornets" have NOT "arrived" in the US... like the Asian hornet from here to the UK, a colony was spotted and destroyed in the furthest Westernmost point in Alaska... believed to be from a solitary wind-blown queen.
They are NOT the Asian hornet... the correct name for which is the Asian Yellow-legged Hornet [Vespa velutina]...which are actually 1/5th smaller than the European Hornet [Vespa crabro].
What the gutter press across the world are going berserk about [to try and sell their rags] is the Japanese Giant Hornet [Vespa mandarinia magnifica]... now this is a different beast altogether...
the body is 45 to 50mm [1.75 to 2 inches] with a wingspan of 75 to 80mm [3+inches]..... and a 6mm sting
 it will not be found in cities unless that city is in a low mountain forest... it doesn't like high altitude, nor does it like the plains... it is pretty specific. Like the European hornet, as you say, it doesn't attack unless provoked... all the deaths from this so-called "murder hornets" have been where a beekeeper or forest worker has been attacked en-mass when knowingly in the former case, or accidentally in the latter, damaging or trying to destroy a colony.
That isn't to say that their stings aren't nasty should you receive one... they deliver two to three times the venom that a European hornet can... and their venom destroys tissue and attacks the nervous system... it is multiple stings that kill... as for any wasp or bee!
by destroying wasps and hornets, you are destroying an ally... especially up at "Haddocks" and around your fruit trees... wasp species are until the end of their hive life, carnivorous... they eat more aphids, caterpillars, small beetles and flies than any insectivorous bird and are a gardener's friend.
If they come round whilst you are having a barbecue, and it is early in the season... put some meat off to one side, away from the fun and games... give them a picnic too!
By all means put your traps out towards the end of August when, because the nest has done its job of making a new generation, the unemployed workers effectively "go out on a jolly" and suddenly switch to finding sugars for themselves.... rather like everyone will do next week with the relaxation of the confinement rules...
 Yes, you could be fined 50,000€ if you knowingly harm any wasp or bee species without a licence in Germany... and that includes putting out your traps... but it is only repeat offenders that would get that... the norm appears to be between 5,000€ and 10,000€.... depending on what was found to have happened.
But as per normal, the gutter press has blown it up out of all proportion.
Unless you do the research, you don't find the truth in either the left or right wing press!!
Some links you might like to follow
https://bygl.osu.edu/node/1148 [no Asian Giant Hornets in USA]
https://www.stuttgartcitizen.com/columns/safety/summer-germany-wasps-bees-hornets/ [US Military advice for soldiers stationed in Germany
https://www.euronews.com/2018/07/11/can-you-really-be-fined-50-000-for-killing-a-wasp-in-germany- [Some well written legal information in lay English]
Apologies for the long comment, but I have done your reseach for you today... I am surprised that you hadn't done so before posting.Delete
Well, thanks for all that. I have read several reports about these so called Murder Hornets, and each time they were said to be the same as our Asian Hornets. I'll leave my piece as it is, and maybe people will read your correction as well.Delete
Thanks for that, Le Pre de la Forge. As they say, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. One might get stung.Delete
A hornet in the bedroom lurking in a sock, or worse his underpants, will have le pre moving quicker than he can say Wikipedia whether it be Asian, European, German, French or Uncle Tom Cobbley and all.Delete
It's that deep buzzing sound in the middle of the night that scares the pants off you.Delete
Rachel... I am happy to handle European hornets... but not wasps. Wasps require a stick or similar... if Blogga allowed us to post photos in comments I'd be able to show you the evidence of that.Delete
I get hornets in my mothtrap unfortunately... not unfortunate for me, but deadly for the lovely moths... that is one of the occasions I regularly handle them... and, in 20 years of the hobby I have only been stung the once... and it wasn't the hornet's fault, I accidentally trapped it against the lid of the mothtrap. But, and this is the peculiar thing... it hurt no more than a nettle? Apparently the European Hornet and the Japanese/Asian Giant Hornet can vary the amount of venom delivered.
Wasps cannot do this... and as the Asian Yellow-legged Hornet is closer genetically to the common Wasps... it may not be able to either... and I am not volunteering to do the physical research!!
As I have lived where there are scorpions and venemous spiders, I am very wary of putting clothes and shoes on without checking the contents first... because even the little stab the hornet that I mentioned above gave my hand would, I agree, cause me to enter "sprint & scream" mode very rapidly...........
And Cro, in order to avoid "that deep buzzing sound in the middle of the night that scares the pants off you"... might I suggest you either don't sleep with the windows open... or screen your windows.
The worst wasps in France for stinging unprovoked, are the Polistes sp. "Paper Wasps".... they are very painful... won't be a problem for you yet Rachel, although they are spreading outward from their original stronghold of Ham House in Richmond as the country warms under climate change... but I'll bet Cro is familiar with the nasty little b'stards. Provocation to them is you looking at them from five foot.
I certainly am familiar with Paper Wasps. They are thinner than their cousins and nest almost anywhere (I recently had a small nest in the car). I have been stung once by one, who'd made his nest in the handle of a small metal shovel; they hurt!Delete
I read they were about to arrive here ..... I thought it was to accompany Covid 19 similar to the plague of locusts !!!! Us humans have obviously been very naughty and we are now being punished !!! XXXXReplyDelete
If Billy Graham were alive today, I'm sure he'd say the same thing. We do seem to be having so many disasters these days; it's probably simply a sign of being over-populated.Delete
As Ursula with probably tell you, in Germany The Federal Nature Conservation Act prohibits the deliberate disturbance of wasps — and other wild animals — or their capture, injury or death without reasonable cause. In practice there are exceptions an I imagine that the Asian Hornet which has reportedly reached Hamburg (similar latitude to Manchester) would be an exception. In practice there are few reported cases of people being prosecuted for killing wasps because they are almost aways killed for good reason (nest in roof for example).ReplyDelete
I would have thought that most people could find a 'good reason' to kill Wasps or Hornets. They are both thoroughly nasty insects; isn't that enough?Delete
Well my only story for hornets is to remember one in Epping Forest. Many years ago whilst out riding in the forest, a hornet came for my horse, she went mad and ended up in a great thicket of blackberry bushes. Always remember it ;)ReplyDelete
The two nearby horses are both wearing face masks, against Horse Flies. They always worry me as I've heard tales of the Horse Flies getting underneath the masks, and the horses going completely crazy; and having to be shot as a result. Personally I would give them those long tassel things that dangle in front of their eyes.Delete
I rather hope they don't come buzzing up here into the Dales.ReplyDelete
They're not something you'd encourage; even the Germans might agree with that!Delete
I could have sworn that "The Hornet" was a comic. I vaguely remember The Blazing Ace of Space - a ruthless World War II fighter pilot. And they gave away free gifts with "The Hornet" too.ReplyDelete
I was a Beano boy; the Hornet must have been from further north.Delete
The Germans would prefer you don't mention WW2. As you have noticed they will go mental over swatting and insect but would prefer you didn't mention their deliberate and systematic murder of millions of people. Nor their deliberate launching of a conflict that killed tens of millions more.ReplyDelete
Seemingly that was the Nazis who weren't real Germans at all honest! My father was one of the first British officers to enter the death camps. They made the local German, sorry I mean Nazis, bury the dead the dead there. There is even a clip of him in the documentary Night will fall which I didn't see until after he passed. I have a photo from the same day. In his diary he notes that the soldiers he commanded were livid. If they needed any justification for fighting the war they had found it in spades. In the photograph and the film clip you can see the Sten guns they held were fully cocked and ready to fire if those mythical Nazis gave them any trouble for being made to bury the dead their contemptible actions had produced.
Hold your horses, Ro. Cro merged two subjects not remotely connected into one post. Namely hornets and Germans. I would have preferred to stick with the hornets as it affects the HERE and NOW. "Mental" on an environmental issue? Who is OTT here, Ro?Delete
May I recommend you not speak of which you appear to know little. Your father's intervention notwithstanding.
The end of the second world war was seventy five years ago (my parents were children and I wasn't on the radar for a long time after). So please do spare me the lecture as to what Germans speak about/remember. We are not exempt, as amplified on this thread alone, from "sins of the fathers" revisited. I suggest you know nothing, and most certainly have no empathy, of the suffering of a whole people on ground of their nationality. I won't stoop as low as to mention sins of the British. Sins that your nose isn't rubbed into all the time. The British have washed their hands of The Empire and order curries in. As to recent times? Well, you tell me.
I have no idea of your nationality (neither is it of any interest to me) but please do beware of glasshouses. And splinters in eyes. Casting the first stone. You know how it goes . . .
I did actually delete something I'd originally written; to save the poor Germans from too much shame. They didn't learn much from WW1.Delete
Haven't noticed many hornets in the last few years. There even very few wasps last summer and we use similar traps to catch those. Very effective.ReplyDelete
Hope it is not the year of killer hornets along with everything else
Guffaw to RachelDelete
Ours seem to turn-up quite late in Summer, when Figs and Grapes are ripe.Delete
Are you *allowed* to call them that??????
What with all the Politically Correct Police about...
As you can see, The P.C. Police have not let us (USA) call them Asian Hornets, or so it would seem. They are called Murder Hornets, as you saw.
Dutch courage, Spanish flu, French leave, Scottish generosity, and now Asian hornets... where will it end? The PC brigade have been reasonably quiet about this, maybe because they know how nasty theie stings can be!Delete
Scary looking buggers! Although I generally like and respect all critters, I'm not fond of spiders or bees (especially wasps). I know they have their place - but with a little luck, it's far away.ReplyDelete
Generally we leave them in peace, but if one comes in the house (and refuses to leave) then he is usually 'dispatched'. Too dangerous to leave them to possibly sting.Delete