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!

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