Italian MEPs Call for Action Against Asian Hornets Threatening Honeybees in Europe


Asian Hornets Threatening Honeybees in Europe

Italian MEPs are urging the European Commission to take action against the spread of Asian hornets, which are decimating bee populations in several EU countries. These voracious predators, native to southeast Asia, arrived in France two decades ago and have since spread to Spain, Belgium, Holland, Portugal, and Italy. The Asian hornets, capable of killing up to 30 bees per day, pose a significant threat to honey production and biodiversity.


Last year, the UK also witnessed a significant increase in sightings of this invasive species. Bees play a crucial role in honey production and maintaining a healthy ecosystem. Concerned about the decline in bee populations, eleven MEPs from Forza Italia, a right-wing political party, have called upon the European Commission to allocate resources to implement specific measures for combating the spread of Asian hornets.


The Asian hornet, scientifically known as Vespa velutina, is believed to have entered Europe through a container of imported pottery from China at the port of Bordeaux in 2004. The presence of these insects has cost the French economy an estimated €30.8m annually, while Portugal has experienced a 35% decrease in honey production in recent years.


In Italy, the Asian hornets were first identified in Liguria and have since spread to Piedmont, Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, and Veneto. The national impact on honey production remains uncertain, but Liguria has already suffered estimated losses of 50%, causing alarm among beekeepers in Tuscany and Veneto.


Michele Meridio, president of the beekeepers' association in Veneto, expressed concern about the situation. He highlighted the difference between Asian hornets and the oriental hornet (Vespa orientalis), which is plaguing southern Italy. Unlike the oriental hornet, the Asian hornet attacks multiple beehives simultaneously, exhibiting astonishing speed in killing bees, dismembering them, and carrying their remains back to their own nests to feed their young. This relentless predation has caused bees to refrain from leaving their hives.


The urgency to address the Asian hornet invasion stems from the potential consequences for honey production and the overall biodiversity of affected regions.


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1 month ago

We all know that honey bees play a vital role in our environment, especially in pollination where they are a great help to our biodiversity, but some honey bees are dangerous as well, and among those bees are these Asian hornets.

agrafena morozov
1 month ago

They are aggressive ones, that defend their nests with terrifying ferocity when it is disturbed.

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