A group of volunteers from the Guam Beekeepers Association eradicated a large hornet’s nest at Inarajan Elementary School last week.
Christopher Rosario, a volunteer with the Guam Beekeeper Association, said: “How we wrap the hive, there is a little bit of strategy to it. Quite frankly, you have to knock out all the adults before you can actually get to the larvae.”
Rosario said they got a call last Thursday morning from a principal at Inarajan Elementary School and then got to work that evening, fumigating the nest of some 1,000 hornets.
Rosario says the invasive species is a consistent issue with the local ecosystem. Most importantly, they prey on pollinators which is a threat to beekeepers and farmers on Guam.
If their nest is disturbed, they can be very aggressive. So they can be a public hazard.
Rosario, who’s a honey farmer himself, says next week is actually the 4-year anniversary of when that hornet was first discovered on Guam.
“I keep beehives of my own and I’ve lost about three colonies due to the hornets. So have other beekeepers, as well. To lose a colony of bees after raising them to where they’re actually producing honey, that’s quite devastating,” Rosario said.
The Greater Banded Hornet, as they’re known, has a distinctive thick yellowish band on their bodies and they’re typically subterranean.
“In southeast Asia, they’re normally 10 feet or below,” Rosario said.
This specific species is originally from Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore.
Rosario says his team wastes no time eradicating a reported nest from the community.
“These nests they can contain multiple queens and after a long period of time, the queens within the nest will end up branching out. So, the spread of the nests is very rapid,” Rosario said.
He says a nesting site means the hornets have been established there for a month or two.
If you do see one, you’re advised NOT to touch it and report it to either: 475-1427 or 487-1640.