An Ode to the Asian Hornet
Reproduced with kind permission of Liz Wescott from her book “The Poetry of Bees”
Liz is an active member of the Torbay branch of Devon Beekeepers Association and has been keeping bees since 2005. You can visit her online honey products store here.
Our green and fertile Sceptered Isle
Has kept us safe for quite a while.
And Europe’s foes - man or disease -
Stayed safe beyond those rolling seas.
But modern days bring different threats
Progress brings challenge and begets
A whole new set of problems range
And the world before us starts to change …
The global village closes in
With distance not so great
The pests which plague the Orient
Now at our garden gate.
Each year we're urged to ‘watch and see’
For dangers to our honey bee.
Varroa has been here some time
But it is just the first in line
Of endless threats upon our bees
Bringing beekeepers to their knees.
The small hive beetle has just been found
On Italy’s sun-kissed, golden ground.
The Asian hornet leads a merry dance
As it progresses up through France!
To bees it brings pure devastation
As each hornet’s nest and infestation
Brings aggression bees have never seen
Before in England’s pastures green.
The Asian Hornet will soon patrol our ways
And decimate our bees in days!
The Asian hornet stalks the honeybees’ door
And bides her time to steal their store.
As each bee comes back to the hive
The hornet eats the bee alive.
The hornet then recruits its mates
To come back and annihilate
What's left of the honeybees’ nest
It eats brood and honey, all that's left
Is empty hive and plundered store -
No good to man nor bee, no more!
There must be something we can do
To stop our fears from coming true!
Build traps and place them near your hives
To save the bees from their demise.
Keep watchful eye, be vigilant
And when you catch it, it should be sent
To the National Bee Unit all intact
So they can confirm the fact
That Vespa Velutina now is here
And Beekeepers can be clear
On what they should - and shouldn't - do
Should the Asian Hornet come near you.
Do not disturb the hornet’s nest
Or she'll quickly go and get the rest
They'll rally round and then attack
You'll run so fast you won't come back!
It's not ‘if’ but ‘when’ this pest arrives
For come she surely will.
She's on our doorstep, now in France
And it will be a bitter pill
That we will have to swallow
When our bees begin the fight
So let us all join hands and help
And fight with all our might!
We'll help our bees, we'll see them through
Asian hornets shall not prevail.
Come one, come on all you beekeepers!
We cannot afford to fail!