Swarms of Killer Hornets could make a beeline to Ireland this Summer
Deadly Asian Hornets are spreading like wildfire across Europe and may have killed six people in France.
Killer Asian Hornets are rapidly spreading throughout mainland Europe and have allegedly caused the death of six individuals in France with their venomous sting.
Experts fear that the dangerous insects could survive in Ireland's climate should a queen wasp arrive in the country.
"There is always a possibility that they could arrive here" said Philip McCabe, president of the Apimondia European Commission.
"A queen wasp would probably have to accidentally travel in a suitcase or shipment, which has been known to happen. It's very unlikely, but it could happen" he warned.
The hornets sting can be fatal but only to people who are allergic and are likely to go into anaphylactic shock following a bee sting.
The main threat posed by the two-inch- long black and yellow hornets, is their ability to kill up to 40 bees per minute- this allows the Hornets to decimate colonies of 30,000 honey-bees within a few hours and then swarm in and gorge on their deserted hives.
Because of this problem there has been a devastating effect on honey output in rural France, and beekeepers in the UK have been sent warnings by Defra (Department for Environment,Food and Rural Affairs) to keep an eye out for these menaces.
They have been warned not to approach the aggressive predators at risk of becoming victims of their stings which can possibly be fatal and reportedly feel like being stabbed with a hot needle.
In recent years a man in France's Loire Valley died when he disturbed a nest and the Asian hornets swarmed around him as part of a defense mechanism.
Instead of attempting to deal with the Hornets themselves, beekeepers are urged to contact the National Bee Unit who will get rid of the hornets safely using special chemicals.
The deadly creatures were first spotted in France in 2004 and are believed to have made their way from China, where they originate, in some pottery. Since that time their presence has been growing in other countries in Europe, namely Spain and Belgium.
Although the Asian Hornet has yet to be spotted in Ireland, our country is not unfamiliar with the European Hornet; a larger and less aggressive version of the Asian type.
"It's been a few years since I've spotted a Hornet in Ireland, but they do affect our honey-bees." said Mr. McCabe.