Asian Wasp

Bee keepers across Spain are battening down the hatches in preparation of an impending invasion.

A plague of “devouring bees” is set to wreak havoc in spain in the next few months, as the Asian Wasp, to call it by its common name, is expected to land in the northern, western and central areas of the peninsular.

The Asian Wasp is known to destroy other colonies of hives, as they fight and stab the native bees, often splitting them in two with a brutal stab.

Paulino Marcos, representative of a bee keeping association in the Portugal bordering region of Extremadura, says that bee keepers are preparing for the attack, by sharing information and knowledge of how to create traps, as well as sourcing professional protectors for the native bees.

“There is a great fear in Extremadura of the arrival of this animal”, says Marcos, “which is why we have to fight, as partners do in other communities, by placing traps that attract wasps into various products, such as white wine or syrup”.

The Asian predatory wasp, or Vespa velutina, feeds on insects like ants, butterflies, aphids, or bees, and is easily recognized by its thorax and abdomen, which highlights the black in relation to yellow.

Believed to have probably originating in India, and spread across Asia native to places like China, Europe in spring and summer fits in well to its desire for a milder climate.

At the end of 2012, scientists reported seeing the first specimens of this animal in the peninsular from northern France, and in 2013 spreading throughout the Basque Country, Navarre and Burgos, among others.

According to distribution maps prepared by experts, this wasp, which is not harmful to humans and does not attack other than in defence, could colonize the peninsula in the coming years as they are progressively travelling further during each seasonal progression.

Environmentalists are increasingly concerned over the impact that mass deaths of insects such as bees, butterflies and mosquitoes, all of which play a crucial part in the ecosystem, can have on the future of the planet.

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