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Old 05-17-2016, 10:00 AM   #1
A.T. Hagan
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Default Are these the first killer Asian hornets to reach Britain?

Horde of TWO INCH wide venomous insects is making a beeline across the channel after killing six in France

Hornets spotted in Devon, Surrey, Sussex and Kent over the past week
They came to France 12 years ago in pottery and can kill 50 bees a day
Insects have a sting that can melt flesh and threaten UK bee population


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ix-France.html


Spotted in Britain: Mother-of-three and retired occupational
therapist Beverley Palfreman, 55, saw an Asian hornet yesterday
on the windowsill of her country home in in Sampford Chapple
near Okehampton, Devon
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Old 05-17-2016, 04:56 PM   #2
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Since we keep bees, I've learned more about hornets than I ever thought I'd want to. All of the county/regional Bee Keeper organizations in TN have had training sessions given by a state entomologist so that beekeepers can monitor and report sightings of unusual hornets and wasps.

There are 2 slightly different "Asian" hornets. One is the Asian Giant and the other is sub-species called the Japanese Giant Hornet. To me, the pic in the article which shows a hornet in Northfleet, Kent, looks more like a Japanese Giant. The Asian Giant tends to have wider brown/black striping than yellow. But it's hard to tell because ID also relies on coloration of antennas, mandible and placement of eyes.

An Asian Giant:



But it's really a moot point as both are pretty bad news.

Both are dangerous to people, animals and bees. There are a few other insects that have more a more toxic venom. But their toxicity is pretty high and, more importantly, because of their size they can deliver a huge amount of venom in one sting.

There have been reports of sightings of both types in the southeastern/midwestern U.S. over the past several years. Of course, it's impossible to confirm most of them, and it's likely that at least some are actually the European hornet, which was introduced to North America in the 19th century.



Here in East TN we have what are locally called "Bowater's Hornets" or wasps. Bowater (now known as Resolute Forest Products) produces paper products and owns thousands and thousands of acres of land where they grow pulp pine trees. What used to be their largest paper production plant is in a tiny little town about 40 miles from where we now live and there's Bowater owned pine plantations within a couple of miles. When the pine beetle population went crazy in 1999/2000, Bowater suffered significant losses in their pine tree plantations. It's rumored (and will probably never be confirmed) that the company introduced the Japanese Giant hornet to their holdings in an effort to kill the pine beetles.

I've seen a Bowater Hornet 3 times and somewhere I have pics of 2 of them (which of course I can't find at the moment). I'm pretty sure that they are the Japanese Giant. They're huge, both in length and width (for a size comparison, picture it as a carpenter bee but less fuzzy looking and much longer), and the coloring pattern on the abdominal section is noticeably different from our usual, native hornets. In fact, I think that there's one hanging around my bedroom window but it hasn't stayed on the window long enough to really see it close-up or even get a pic.

If you do see one, don't provoke it with a lot of arm movements. Try to just move away slowly. If you're able to get a pic, or catch/kill one, it would be really helpful for you to report it to your local Ag Extension Office or state entomologist office.
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Old 05-18-2016, 08:29 AM   #3
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Our regular hornets are bad enough. Sure don't want either of the exotic ones!
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Old 05-18-2016, 09:35 AM   #4
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I am building some research equipment for an Entomologist studying those hornets. I am told that the volatiles given off - even a SINGLE molecule, is very noxious to those doing research. Additionally, the animal must be under complete control at all times.

If I get a chance, I might put a picture up in Hell(Dark Web), of one of my machines used to study the wasp. Aside from being impressive, the machine is also beautiful - from an ascetic sense.

I designed a "switchable" Pyrex port with a Teflon plunger that can be lifted to let the wasp through. The plunger has Viton seals (gaskets) that look like rubber bands that are fitted in notches in the plunger. I thought it was an elegant solution to keeping the animal quarantined until the test starts.
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Old 07-28-2016, 08:51 AM   #5
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These hornets have been reported all over the US. Please read attached article for much more information.



https://roadtrippers.com/stories/mas...=-96.67528&z=5
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Old 07-28-2016, 10:14 PM   #6
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I saw one of the Japanese ones the other day while out walking. They say one sting you might survive but two stings and you're dead. Needless to say I quickly vacated the area. They also have freaky giant scary poisoness centipedes here called Mukate. Fortunately I haven't seen one of those yet...I hate centipedes!

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