Hornet count

Is anyone else keeping a record of their hornet count? We are now in our 3rd year of trying to establish a regular pattern. We hang 4 traps filled with a mix of grenadine and beer around our apiary and empty them every few weeks to see what has been caught. Have noticed a lot of asiatic frelons hovering around our hives recently, picking off individual bees, so thought I would check the traps this evening. In 17 days, we caught a total of 310 hornets. 70 european and 240 asiastic. I then feed them to our hens who consider them a delicacy. Not sure if it is the insects themselves, or the fact they are in an alcoholic juice! How do these numbers compare to anybody else?

Just try not to spray it in the air, in the path of the bees, or you'll find a decline in colony numbers also. Pesticides are still pesticides, and should be treated with caution.

I don't want to speak too soon, but there were definitely fewer hornets around the hives this afternoon. Normally there are about 20+ around each hive. Today, despite there being no obvious sign that the sausage has been eaten, there were only about 5 hornets about. I've attached a photo. You can buy Fibrokil as a spray from the Pharmacie. Some pharmacists sell a competitive product as phials of liquid which contain the same chemical.

anything.... now I find that deer or other creatures must have bumped some hives and my supers are out of line making nices entrances for....

Brian, I have just this week heard of a new solution. Apparently, the chemical FIPROKIL which is normally used to treat fleas on cats and dogs is deadly poisonous to hornets. The recommended treatment is to hang a piece of old meat (about 5 cm) on a wire about 1m in front of the hive, about the height of the hive roof. You spray it with Fiprokil. The hornets eat it and take it back to the nest and it apparently kills others in the nest. My local beekeeper tried it at midday on Tuesday and by Weds eve, there were virtually no hornets left around his hives. I put out a sausage on Thurs afternoon, but it doesn't seem to have been touched and I still have loads of hornets around. It is recommended you take in at night, so dogs etc don't come and get it, but hang it out early in the morning before the bees start flying. I will keep you updated on my progress.

I have four traps, have used cat food, overripe figs, and several other baits. I gave up counting but am probably double your figure! There are clearly two nests of Asians as well since they are locked in combat as well and fly off with picked off bees in two entirely different directions. I am fed up to the back teeth and losing a lot of my working ladies...

Wow, Clare, that is a LOT. We never put traps up, nor do we count, our girls are ok with local hornets, and the chinky ones are only starting to be a problem here in the last year or so. Still, no total losses this year, out of forty hives. Sure, we lost some splits to swarming, but no empty hives.

OH works closely with a keeper who has around 600 hives, and his losses are down this year too. Maybe it has to do with location.

Can imagine the hens loving the beer-soaked hornets. lol, they are so funny, hens.