Monster wasp spotted in West Flanders

After previous sightings in East Flanders and Wallonia, the Asian predatory wasp has now been spotted in West Flanders. The exotic species of wasp poses a serious threat to bee-keepers and above all to their honey bees. The nature organisation Natuurpunt and the Institute for Nature and Forestry Research are asking Flemings keep their eyes peeled and to record any sightings of the Asian predatory wasp.

The sighting of the wasp in the West Flemish municipality of Wevelgem was reported post haste and this was not without reason.

The biologist Tim Adriaens of the Institute for Nature and Forestry Research told VRT News that “The wasps attack bees in group. In contract to wasps that are native to here they do so at the entrance to hives. They are really greedy they can seriously decimate a bee population”.

According to Natuurpunt native bees can offer little resistance to the wasps as they have not been able to adapt themselves to the exotic species.

The Asian predatory wasp was first spotted in May of this year in a hive at Oudenaarde in east Flanders.

Bee-keepers were warned to be on the alert as the wasp poses a great threat to bees. The Asian predatory wasp appears on the European list of exotics that should be eradicated.

However, to do this the wasps nest will need to be found.
"The Asian predatory wasps is a black wasp that is about 3.5cm long and has yellow feet”, Mr Adriaens told VRT News. The “monster wasps” aren’t any more dangerous than other wasps, unless of course you disturb their nests.

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