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Asian Hornets. What are they? What is the threat?

Asian hornets, also known as the "yellow-legged hornet" or "Asian predatory wasp," is an invasive species that is causing concern and devastation in Europe. Originating from Southeast Asia, this species was accidentally introduced to France in 2004 and has since spread throughout Europe.

Asian hornets are known for their aggressiveness and their ability to prey on other insects, including honeybees. They are particularly dangerous to honeybees because they can decimate entire beehives, leading to significant economic losses for beekeepers and reduced pollination of crops.

These hornets are identifiable by their distinctive coloration. They have a black body with yellow legs and a yellow head. They are slightly smaller than the European hornet, but are still relatively large, measuring up to 3.5 cm in length.

While Asian hornets are primarily a threat to bees, they can also pose a danger to humans. Their stings are more potent than those of a regular wasp or bee, and can lead to anaphylactic shock in some individuals.

Efforts are being made to control the spread of Asian hornets in Europe. Beekeepers are advised to monitor their hives and report any sightings of the hornets. Traps are also being used to capture and kill the hornets. These traps are designed to lure the hornets with a sweet bait, and then trap them in a container.

Despite these efforts, Asian hornets continue to spread throughout Europe, and it is likely that they will continue to do so. It is important for beekeepers and the general public to be aware of the threat posed by these hornets and to take measures to protect themselves and the environment from their negative impacts.

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