Science

“We must learn to live with the Asian hornet”

The Asian hornet is on the rise in our country and that does not seem to end any time soon. According to Céline Tellier (Ecolo), Walloon Minister of the Environment, it is impossible to eradicate the insect completely.

The Asian hornet, a wasp species that can grow up to 3 centimeters, has been found in our country since 2017. The exotic wasp species is primarily a threat to honey bees. A nest can easily raid a colony of honey bees.

Since the wasp species poses a threat to the native bee population, the countries of the European Union have been obliged to detect and destroy the insects since 2016. Although, according to Tellier, it is impossible to completely expel the insect from our region. “We have to learn to live with them while we reduce the population where they cause the most damage,” the minister said during an interview with the RTBF.

Significant increase

In De Standaard Tim Adriaens, researcher of invasive species at the Institute for Nature and Forest Research, says that the number of nests has increased from ten in 2017 to 120 in 2020. “And that will increase significantly. At some point, Flanders will be full ”, it sounds.

According to Natuurpunt.be, it is only possible to effectively slow down the advance of the Asian hornet by destroying the nests. Anyone who sees a nest should call the fire brigade immediately.

Experts do not recommend approaching the Asian hornet itself as it is a very aggressive wasp species. Natuurpunt.be states that despite its size, the hornet is less dangerous than a common wasp. “When he’s alone, he’s not aggressive or pushy. But it can become very defensive in the vicinity of its nest, just like other wasps ”, he says.

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