What is the difference between a bait trap and a bait lure (station)?
A bait trap captures insects and requires you to release them or freeze them (if an Asian hornet). The disadvantage of the bait trap is that it can trap other insects as well as the Asian hornet. The French have found that during summer/autumn if an Asian hornet was captured in the trap and left there it attracted more Asian hornets into the trap.
A bait lure (station) attracts the insect to feed off it but the insect can then fly away. Asian hornets are know to return to the lure on a regular basis and stay long enough for you to take a photograph. You can then track their flight path and time how long it takes to return, this helps in tracking down the nest and killing the whole nest.
How do I get a trap and/or lure (station)?
You can choose to buy a bait trap, just search online for Asian Hornet traps and a variety will show up. Alternatively you can make your own trap. Terry from Romsey beekeeping association showed us how to make an Asian hornet trap last year. If you missed this then try this YouTube link which gives you a step by step visual guide to make one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CR6MUekAjMo
Different types of bait lures (stations) are being used ‘saucer’ or wick.
The ‘saucer’ method places a few sheets of kitchen roll or a j-cloth on a saucer or in a plastic container such as a plastic freezer container. You then soak this with bait, usually on a daily basis.
The wick method is being tested by Jersey this year and several bee keeping associations are using this as well in the south. You need a plastic container with a lid or screw top. A j cloth is put in the container and then used as a wick and fed through a hole made in the lid. This method means that less bait evaporates and less likely to get diluted by the rain.
• Instructions/examples of other lures can be found on this link: https://www.ahat.org.uk/article/asian-hornet-queen-monitoring-13-30-april-2020
What can I use as bait?
Listed below are various bait options – please can you let us know which one you have used and how effective has it been, including whether it attracted honeybees.
Jersey has found to date that Suterra/Trappit is most effective because it does not attract honey bees and can be used in spring and autumn – we have ordered some for members through Hampshire Bee Keepers Association, however the warehouse in Wales was flooded and none is available until the end of April.
French company Veto-Pharma also has a product called Vespa Catch, you can buy either in liquid or sachet form from Thornes with the trap, again it is not supposed to attract honey bees. They sell traps on their own as well.
Listed below other options to use in spring:
– half litre of dark beer plus two tablespoons of sugar or honey, mix together and add sufficient to trap or lure as/when required
– half litre of water, three tablespoons of sugar or honey, one cup cider vinegar, mix together and add sufficient to trap or lure as/when required
– half litre dark beer plus cup of blackcurrant cordial, mix together and add sufficient to trap or lure as/when required
– 350ml sweet white wine and 20-230ml mint syrup
– orange juice
In the summer/autumn Asian hornets feed on protein (ie other insects), prawns and fish are good but can smell. Jersey have preferred to use Suterra.