Mayen. She has an orange forehead and her nests are the size of a medicine ball: the Asian hornet is spreading in Rhineland-Palatinate, the State Office for the Environment, the Foundation for Nature and the Environment and the Specialist Center for Bees and Beekeeping in the Service Center for Rural Areas Westerwald-Oteifel announced on Tuesday . In order to be able to get an idea of the distribution of the invasive hornet species, the population is called upon to report nests.
The nests can be seen from afar in the now leafless treetops. “They are the size of a medicine ball and are often 10 meters or more in height,” they said in a joint statement. The effects on the native insect world and honey bees are still largely unexplored.
Asian hornet: climate change favors spread
After only isolated reports of nests in the past few years, the observations of nests of the new hornet species increased in 2022, especially in southern Rhineland-Palatinate, the experts wrote. A first reliable observation of a single animal, which suggests a nest there, was reported north of the Moselle.
The increased occurrence this year is also likely to be due to the climatic changes with significantly higher temperatures, especially during the winter. The Asian hornet (Vespa velutina nigrithorax) was first recorded in Europe in 2004 in southern France, ten years later for the first time in Germany.
According to the Conservation Union, the Asian hornet is just as harmless to humans as its relatives.