Correspondence | Published:

Invasive species

Bee-hawking hornet already in line of fire

Nature volume 534, page 37 (02 June 2016) | Download Citation

We agree with Frederico Santarém and colleagues that public campaigns will help to control the invasive Asian hornet Vespa velutina (see Nature 532, 177; 2016). However, this bee-hawking hornet has been on Europe's risk-assessment list for invasive alien species and targeted for action since June 2015 (see It has also been intensively researched since 2008 under the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund's apiculture programme.

The only way found so far to contain the V. velutina invasion is to destroy colonies as soon as nests are spotted (see J. R. Beggs et al. BioControl 56, 505–526; 2011). Public awareness and collaboration are crucial to help detect these nests in tree crowns.

The hornet's real threat is to pollinators, not to humans (see, for example, C. Villemant et al. Biol. Conserv. 144, 2142–2150; 2011). EU legislation aims to coordinate a plan for invasion control, which also depends on a greater willingness among European researchers to work together.

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  1. Institut de Systématique, Évolution, Biodiversité (ISYEB), UMR 7205 – CNRS, MNHN, UPMC, EPHE, Sorbonne Universités, Paris, France.

    • Quentin Rome
    •  & Claire Villemant


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Correspondence to Quentin Rome.

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