No pictures with this post, I’m afraid. I was a bit preoccupied to reach for the camera.
Inevitably we get the occasional unpleasant insect coming into the awning, including wasps and hornets. But yesterday evening we were invaded by a hornet the like of which I’d never seen. It was fully 4cm long, and from looking on the internet it was indeed a Giant Asian Hornet, not the yellow-bodied European one.
We’d read about these things in our beekeeping days. A raiding party of hornets are alleged to be able to wipe out a beehive in hours. Here’s the FERA webpage.
In spite of being used to bees, we were, I must admit, a bit scared of this enormous insect. I gave it a squirt of insecticide, and stood back, expecting the usual death spiral. But it seemed to have no effect. It took six full on applications of pyrethrum spray to bring it down. Eventually it disappeared under the awning skirt and we saw and heard no more of it.
Having seen one in the flesh, I can well understand how they can overpower mere honeybees. If they do establish in England, it will be a desperate lookout for beekeepers.