Arnia Makes Major Breakthrough in the Fight Against Asian Hornet

Following extensive research Arnia has successfully developed a means to remotely detect, alert and locate an Asian Hornet attack on a bee hive.

Arnia founders Huw and Sandra Evans spent the summer recording Asian Hornet acoustics and behaviour at apiaries in Northern Italy where there was a major infestation of the insect.

Huw said, “We could not be more delighted with the results of our research. We have successfully isolated the acoustic signature of the Asian Hornet and can distinguish it from honey bee acoustics and other background noises”.

This major discovery will enable Arnia to develop a non-intrusive monitor to remotely detect the presence of an Asian Hornet and automatically alert beekeepers.   The aim is to make this monitoring equipment available to as many beekeepers as possible across all areas of Europe threatened by this invasive species.

Asian Hornet - Vespa velutina

Asian Hornet – Vespa velutina

The Asian Hornet (Vespa velutina) is a predator of honey bees and other beneficial insects such as hoverflies and bumblebees. It arrived in France in 2004 from where it spread rapidly and has now colonised large areas of mainland Europe. The first sighting in the UK was in September 2016, more recently nests have been  found in Jersey. Recently published research by the Universities of Warwick and Newcastle, working with the National Bee Unit predicted that this invasive insect will rapidly colonise the UK unless its spread is combatted and that early detection is critical for successful eradication.

As well as providing an early warning system, Arnia’s remote detection and alert monitor will also facilitate the collection of valuable Asian Hornet migration data and improve our knowledge of their behaviour. This will help to develop long term effective strategies to contain the spread.

Arnia is currently seeking funding to complete the development and roll out of Asian Hornet monitors to thousands of bee hives across the UK and Europe during the 2018 season.  We welcome contact from organisations interested in joining the project and also any beekeepers that would like to register an interest in receiving a monitor.

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