The Hautes-Pyrénées Beekeeping Union has just held two meetings with the Departmental Council and the Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrénées Agglomeration Community on the difficulties associated with the spread of the Asian hornet. “In 2020 they reached unbearable levels in many areas of the department, in the plains and in the mountains, so that the losses of the beekeeping herds often exceeded the national average by 30% and in some places reached 50%. It is beekeepers about the future of their activities, “explains Thierry Dubroca, Secretary of the Beekeeping Union. He notes that the control measures taken do not contain this scourge. “The hornet must now be seen as a tremendous destroyer of biodiversity as it attacks all insects. Its nutritional needs have increased due to its distribution,” emphasizes Thierry Dubroca.
The union then lists the effective control measures when coordinated over a fairly large area: intensive trapping of queens from early March; Catch mated females between October 15th and late November before they seek shelter for the winter; In the season (July, August, September, October) destruction of nests whenever possible.
The beekeepers asked the two communities to take over the information and the implementation of these measures. Claude Laffonta, Director of Territorial Attractiveness and Solidarity (DAST) said she would examine a file to be presented to the President of the Departmental Council upon request.
She suggested bringing together all community representatives to disseminate this information.
The union, for its part, needs to build a territorial network of “beekeepers” that the municipalities can rely on. Specifications can be set to properly design the operations.
On the Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrénées side, Jean-Claude Piron, Vice President, notes that the agglomeration community is not meant to fight harmful species. He suggested, however, that a meeting of the “environment” managers of each municipality be organized shortly, at which the union could intervene to inform the elected officials of the severity of the problem and suggest solutions.
The beekeepers are satisfied with this exchange, but finally recall that “the fight against the spread of the Asian hornet can only lead to tangible results if the measures implemented are long-term and continuous”.