The annual meeting of the COLOSS Task Force on Vespa velutina was hold in Bilbao, the 28th and 29th June. Researchers from several European countries participate to this event, such as people from Austria, Croatia, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and United Kingdom. Studies performed by researchers from China, where Vespa velutina is endemic, were also presented.
This event allowed to point out the state of the art about the control activities on Vespa velutina and the impacts generated by this species. The meeting was structured in several sessions. The first day was dedicated to oral presentations and posters, the second day to field activity and to a final discussion among participants.
During the field session it was possible to see the destruction of a primary nest of Vespa velutina and it was explained the organisation and the strategy applied in the Basque Region.
For the LIFE STOPVESPA Project, Simone Lioy (University of Turin) described and discussed the activities performed in Italy to control Vespa velutina and Daniele Milanesio (Polytechnic University of Turin) described the recent improvements of the harmonic radar used to track the hornets.
The participation of European countries (such as Austria, Croazia, Denmark and Israel), where V. velutina has not yet been spotted, may help the researchers of these states defining and setting up an efficient warning and rapid response strategy. This may be useful in case of future invasions and it is in compliance with the recent European Regulation on Invasive Alien Species (1143/2014).
The meeting was coordinated by Daniela Laurino (University of Turin) and María del Mar Leza Salord (University of the Balearic Islands) and realized in cooperation with the colleagues of the University of Bilbao and the “Association Avispa Asiatica”. The final discussion aimed not only to compare the different experiences, but also to define future objectives, which have to be reached. One of the main aims of the Velutina Task Force is in fact the harmonisation between countries of the strategies against Vespa velutina and the improvement of trans-national cooperation.