Our Bright Future is a lottery-funded nationwide movement for young people who are interested in the environment. Our Bright Futures is made up of 31 different projects nationwide with BEE You being one of these projects. In usual times our reach is throughout Liverpool city region. However this spring and summer, we along with everyone else had to move online, one huge plus was that it enabled us for the first time to reach UK wide. We were able to provide online beekeeping to students who belonged to other Our Bright Future projects throughout the country. One of our delivery and learning subjects within beekeeping is the importance to understand the various pests and disease that affect honeybees and look for ways to reduce or remove any risks to our colonies.
While teaching to an “Our Bright Future” group of young people over summer, we included a session on pests and disease that affect honeybees. Because we work closely with our local bee inspector, we are aware of the many risks to pest and disease. When teaching we can pass this scientific and often non-accessible data through our easy to follow beekeeping presentations that young people can understand and take on board.
One of the threats to our honeybees in the UK is the Asian Hornet. So far, it has not ever been recorded in Liverpool but the nearest it has is in Bury.
The reason why we, as beekeepers, gardeners or members of the public, need to be vigilant is because of the huge amount of harm Asian hornets do to colonies of honeybees. We always include the Asian Hornet when speaking about pest and disease.
It was not long after the course had finished that the Bee You team received an email from one of our students from Northern Ireland with a concern about a potential spotting of an Asian hornet.
He said he had never noticed anything like this before and it was his online beekeeping learning that had made him look at insects differently. He added that if he hadn’t have done the beekeeping course that he wouldn’t have thought twice about what the insect was but knowing just a little bit more has expanded his outlook. He sent over the photograph which enabled us to identify that it was not an Asian Hornet but a paper wasp. The ability for us to deliver countrywide now enables our Honeybees to have more young people than ever looking out for their well- beeing.
We are pleased to continue our online delivery of beekeeping through 2020 to not just local young people in Liverpool but from all areas of the UK. Our furthest students have been from Fife with all areas in-between. The OBF network has enabled us to link to our fellow projects and offer beekeeping as an additional study to students throughout the country. To identify an Asian hornet, use this photo. For more information on Asian Hornets, please go to https://www.bbka.org.uk/asian-hornet-team
All photos are taken by Andrea Ku
The 2 hornet ones are from BBKA website
The map ID/difference between Asian/Euro hornet is an image I've created from BBKA data
Written by Andrea Ku