Vespa velutinag serious pest of honey bees in Kashmir
F A Shah And T A Shah
The hornet Vespa velutina is a pest of Apis mellifera, the European honey bee, which was introduced to Kashmir in 1987. On emergence from its winter period of dormancy in spring, the queen hornet visits apiaries in search of food for itself and its larvae, and to scrape wood for use as nest building material. Initially, a small cup-shaped nest is constructed by the queen hornet, often under the eaves and roofs of houses, and branches of tall trees. After the first generation of brood has been reared, nest size and colony strength gradually increase throughout the summer, reaching a peak in autumn. It is this period (July-October) that demand for food is greatest and bee colonies are at most risk. In autumn, new queens are produced. Mated queens overwinter individually in sheltered places, and the rest of the colony is killed by the late autumn frosts. The nests are often then destroyed by birds.
Vespa velutinag, Hornet wasp, queen hornet, honey bees in Kashmir,