Asian Wasp arrived in Portugal and does not let the bees leave the hives
After fungi, pesticides, climate change, habitat destruction, bees, now in a world decline, now have to deal with another threat: the Asian wasps. In Portugal, the region between Minho and Lima is most affected by these wasps.
What would happen if your home was being attacked and could not go out to get food? The answer is simple: you would starve (and it would not work either). That is precisely what is happening to bees. They die for lack of food and do not produce honey and the culprits are the Asian wasps, coming from Spain and France. In Portugal, it is betting on the destruction of nests with fire and craft traps to minimize the impact on the economy and biodiversity that this predatory insect can cause. The method of attack of the Asian wasp or velutina (Vespa velutina nigotorax) is simple and effective: they wait for the beehives to arrive loaded with pollen, they catch them, cut their heads, their feet and the sting and carry them to their own nests that build on the tops of the trees. Then eat them.
In Portugal, the first attacks will have occurred in 2011, when a specimen of this species was captured in an apiary in Viana do Castelo. According to Miguel Maia, a technician from the Beekeeping Association Between Minho and Lima (Apimil), about 40 nests were detected in the Alto Minho region, 22 of which are in the municipality of Viana do Castelo. The technician also says that specimens of these wasps were also found in Ponte de Lima, Ponte da Barca, Caminha, Vila Nova de Cerveira, Barcelos and Vila Verde.
Nests, about one meter high and 80 centimeters wide, are mostly built on trees taller than five meters, according to Miguel Maia and José Manuel Grosso Silva, of the Center for Research in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources (Cibio ) of the University of Porto, in the article Vespa velutina in mainland Portugal and national beekeeping, in the magazine O Beekeeper, in 2012.
After France, where they will have arrived in 2004, wasps have invaded Spain and now the entry into Portugal is no surprise for Apimil. “We already knew this was going to happen. With globalization, the problems also come to us, “says Apimil president Alberto Dias, adding that in 2013, cases are expected to increase in quantity and area. Within ten years, Miguel Maia admits, it is possible that the Asian wasp colonized the entire Iberian Peninsula and that, at that time, “we will stumble in the nests”. “Northern Portugal will probably be colonized in a few years,” says entomologist José Manuel Grosso Silva. Posted by MARTA PORTOCARRERO at Publico.pt