A Practical Guide For Beekeepers In Managing The Asian Hornet

Asian Hornets are here to stay, but it’s not the end of the world. It’s not the end of beekeeping. But it could be the end of beekeeping as we presently know it.

For our bees to survive the ravages of predation by Asian Hornets, and to continue to thrive, we may need to change the way we keep our bees and alter our expectations of what they can do. This means taking command in our apiaries, reducing the level and stress of predation, and ensuring that the colony continues to function as normally as possible whilst predation is in progress.

My first experience of Asian Hornets wreaking havoc was in my modest apiary in the Loire Valley of France. I learned a great deal from my friend Monsieur André Blatier, a shrewd, weather-beaten old Maître apiculteur. He taught me that, by putting in place a system of Integrated Apiary Management, we can survive the Asian Hornet problem, get our bees through the predation period and into winter, and still have a crop of honey in return for our efforts. To achieve this, we have to be very close to our colonies and sharpen up our beekeeping skills and apiary procedures. To put it simply, we need to raise our game and start thinking out of the box.

This book proposes a set of simple principles with guidelines for beekeepers to help manage our bees and apiaries when they’re under attack. We aim to ensure that our investment of time, effort and money is still worthwhile in the new situation.

ALAN BAXTER began beekeeping in the Loire Valley in France, where he lived and worked for 23 years. His apiary there was the target of heavy predation by Asian Hornets.

He moved to England in 2020 and now manages 20 colonies and breeds queens in 3 apiaries in Hampshire. He serves as Hampshire Beekeepers Association Asian Hornet Coordinator and is the author of the Hampshire AH Contingency Plan.

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