An extra €130,000 has been made available to combat the proliferation of Asian hornets this year, as the wasp is a threat to the honey bee that is native to the region. As a result, the presence of these hornets also threatens agriculture and horticulture, as bees play an important role as pollinators.
The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Agency for Nature and Forests will evaluate the situation, according to De Morgen. They are also developing a medium and long-term management vision for the Asian hornet.
The hornet first appeared in Belgium six years ago and has spread rapidly throughout Flanders ever since. “We are seeing a large increase in this wasp species this year,” said Flemish Minister of Agriculture Jo Brouns. “That’s why we’re going to step it up a gear.”
“We hope to deal a blow to the species this year and to limit the impact on beekeeping and the risks of incidents,” added Flemish Minister for the Environment Zuhal Demir.
Last week, the Flemish government announced it didn’t have a budget for the extermination of the Asian hornet in Flanders, which meant the Flemish Bee Institute was forced to stop fighting the hornet.
Last year they still had a budget of €60,000 from the government to fight the insects, which has currently been used up entirely.