One year has passed after the first record in 2017 and Vespa velutina is now causing new concern among beekeepers, not only in the area of La Spezia but also in the neighbouring Tuscany.
Between the end of August and the beginning of September, the Asian yellow-legged hornet has been observed in several areas nearby the city of La Spezia, such as Rigazzara and Muggiano (La Spezia), Pian di Barca (Riccò del Golfo), Ressora (Arcola) and Senato (Ameglia). These records indicates that the outbreak is probably greater than the one registered last year. Since these records are at different kilometres of distance, the existence of several nests in the region should be taken into account.
As a consequence of the increased number of records, the LIFE STOPVESPA Project decided to activate the Vespa Emergency Team, in order to evaluate the colonization and determine nests position using the harmonic radar to track the flight of the hornets back to their colonies. Thanks to this strategy, a first nest has been discovered in Ressora (Arcola).
The activities are still ongoing with the cooperation of local beekeepers Associations Apiliguria, AlpaMiele, and Toscanamiele, aiming to find the nests, which are hidden in the dense vegetation. The Vespa Emergency Team will continue to work also during the following days.