Invasion of the Asian bee-eating hornet

    An Asian hornet near a beehive southwestern France
    An Asian hornet (Vespa velutina) destroys hives and decimates the bee swarms. Photograph: Regis Duvignau/Reuters
    The Asian hornet arrived in France in 2004 and has become the scourge of all amateur beekeepers. From the beginning of August, Frédéric Wielezynski, a beekeeper in the Médoc region of France, spends every weekend tirelessly repeating the same futile gestures. He positions himself in front of his hives armed with a fly swat and tries to crush the enormous bee-eating hornets. These are not just any hornets, but the Asian Vespa velutina. „I know it’s useless, because a dozen more will arrive as soon as my back is turned, but I have to do something,” said Wielezynski, president of the Gironde and Aquitaine beekeepers’ association. „I love my bees and I can’t just stand by and see them being eaten up without doing anything about it.”  

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