Firefighters were inundated with calls to destroy Asian hornet nests

It is a bee killer, the real bane of beekeepers. Since 2016, the Asian Hornet has continued to expand in Belgium. To more effectively slow its progress, some relief areas in the country have decided not to destroy the nests. The problem is that after that, firefighters continue to struggle as they face multiple reports.

For example, in the Hainaut Center area, this October, an average of thirty Asian hornet nests were destroyed each day. Several teams, spread across ten camps in the area, are looking after this. But only one is equipped to neutralize nests located in treetops. “Let’s be honest, we’re overwhelmed todayBenoit Phillippe recognizes Hainaut Center Area Fire Chief. Demand is so strong that a waiting list is created. The officer did the math: Asian hornets today represent 20% of firefighters’ interventions in the area that covers the vast area between Mons, Center and Enkien. “However, we also need them for our firefighters, fires, road accidents… The goal is not to completely reject the work against hornets, but to be able to distribute them so that they do not overwhelm us.”

Ridding the hornet’s nest can actually take some time. These secondary nests, which remain active until late autumn, are often located at impressive heights. To neutralize them, firefighters use a 30-meter pole, which allows insecticide powder to filter into the nest. This should be done before, before winter Future queens aren’t going to found new colonies the following year.

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