Monitoring the spread of an invasive alien species is crucial to plan appropriate management actions and activities to limit the expansion of the species. In addition, an early detection of the Yellow-legged hornet in areas far away from the expansion front allows to perform a rapid response aimed to remove these isolated populations before the settlement of the species. In fact, Vespa velutina queens might be accidentally transported by human activities in very remote areas, and these animals can give rise to new colonies and populations.
What do we want to do?
- Discover the nests of the Yellow-legged hornet using innovative methods, such as the entomological radar, in order to neutralize them.
Two monitoring teams will work to detect Vespa velutina’s nests using an entomological radar prototype developed by the Polytechnic University of Turin.
- Create a monitoring networkin Italy based on the collaboration of volunteers, both beekeepers and citizens.
The monitoring network should allow: i) the early detection of the Yellow-legged hornet in the new settlement areas, in order to quickly remove any new populations; ii) to evaluate the natural expansion of the species, in order to control the diffusion starting from marginal areas, with the aim of containing the expansion.
How to build the monitoring network?
All people could contribute to the monitoring of Vespa velutina in two simple ways:
- Monitor using traps to catch the hornets;;
- Report the observation of Vespa velutina in the environment or in the apiaries.
To create a monitoring network, it is important to send the geographical coordinates of the monitored area, the results of the monitoring activity, also if no Vespa velutina has been observed, and the photographs of the observed animals.