Listed as an unwanted species on the EU’s list, Asian hornets were spotted in 16 locations in the Netherlands, posing a serious threat to the Dutch ecosystem.
After being first discovered in the Netherlands in 2017, the Asian hornet (vespa velutina) which are invasive exotics, appear to be extending throughout Dutch territory. Reports indicated sightings in Drenthe, South Holland, Limburg, North Brabant, and Zeeland.
Sounding the alarm, the chairman of the Stop Invasive Exotics platform Wilfred Reinhold, warns that time is running out on taking action — “If we don’t do anything about the Asian hornet now, thousands of queens will fly out over tens of kilometres in the autumn.”
In hopes of getting the public’s assistance, calls for the Dutch Minister of Agriculture, Nature, and Food Quality, Carola Schouten, are rising to release an official guide on how to identify and report Asian hornets.
What we know so far
In describing the invasive creature, “The Asian hornet resembles a large, all-black wasp. It is almost twice the size of a normal wasp, and that dark appearance is especially striking,” Reinhold says. “The European hornet has a red underside, the Asian hornet does not.”
A complete guide with pictures and a reporting platform was made available through the EIS Knowledge Center of the Netherlands.
The good news is that the Asian hornets are less aggressive to humans than the normal lemonade wasp, yet their sting is more painful — so fear not but beware of what to do. ⚠
At almost twice the size of a normal wasp, the bad news is that Asian hornets feed on honeybees and other wild bee species. 🐝 In 2016, these hornets were placed on the EU’s list of 66 exotic animal species that are not allowed to spread in Europe.
Currently, if you believe you spotted an Asian hornet in the Netherlands, try to take a photo and post it through the observation website where it can be verified and, once confirmed, the nest will be traced and destroyed.
Feature Image: PantherMediaSeller/Depositphotos