An article published in Ouest-France on April 23rd dealt with the danger of the Asian hornet for bees. According to Mr. , beekeeper in La Roche-Bernard, the number of hornets trapped this spring 2014 in his apiary (term designating a hive or a group of hives) would have exploded.

But beware of entrapment of "founding females" by individuals considering that unfortunately today there is no selective trapping. Trapping must be reserved for the protection of attacked apiaries .


In the world there are 22 species of hornets; While only the European hornet, Vespa cabro, is naturally present in France, the Asian hornet or yellow-legged hornet, vespa velutinanigrithorax, was accidentally introduced in the Lot et Garonne in 2004.

European hornet worker on the left;
Asian hornet worker on the right

Since then, , as can be seen from the map below, prepared by M.Quentin Rome, entomologist specialist of the Asian hornet at the National Museum of Natural History (MNHN).
Distribution of Vespa velutina (Asian hornet) in 2013
Q. Rome MNHN
As a real threat to the honeybee, the Asian hornet was classified as a second-class health hazard for the honey bee in December 2012 by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.

According to Mr Quentin Rome, a scientist at the Museum of Natural History and an Asian hornet specialist, " the trapping of sexed (founder) females has no impact on the evolution of the Asian hornet population. it was really selective, it would not pose much problem (even without providing a solution), but the most selective traps currently designed do not usually catch much more than 1% Vespa velutina. are sometimes part of rare or protected species- The selectivity is only to avoid capturing the honeybee (which is quite easy since it does not like alcohol).
Current methods are to limit the impact of the hornet on hives ( by setting traps at the attacked apiaries only ), to try to detect as soon as possible the nests potentially attacking apiaries to destroy them before the peak of predation. Also destroy dangerous nests for the safety of people (there are few). Early detection of the hornet's arrival in areas not yet invaded to try to destroy the colonies quickly and slow the spread of the species. "

Reporting form to the MNHN :

In an excellent article co-authored by Mr. Rome , the annual life cycle of the Asian hornet is explained.

We follow the winter survival of some breeding females (5%), who wake up in the spring and look for a suitable place to build a "primary" nest. Primary nest that will compete for these "founding females" (there may be up to 12 changes of foundresses in a nest), resulting in the death of 95% of them.

In summer, around mid-August the colony moves into a "secondary" nest at the top of a tree. The colony grows and attacks more and more bees, an important part of its diet (this varies depending on the resources of the medium from 30 to 60%).

In autumn, with the mating of males and females it is the end of the colony; only the future founders will survive.