Brussels firefighters destroyed a nest of Asian hornets on Tuesday that was discovered in the garden of a Schaerbeek resident.
“It must be stressed that the coming weeks are crucial for destroying the secondary nests in order to prevent new queens from flying out and forming new nests in the spring,” said Brussels Fire Brigade spokesperson Walter Derieuw.
“In this way, we protect our bee colonies and avoid disturbing the natural biotope.”
The nest in Schaerbeek was located 15 metres up a spruce tree, according to the spokesperson.
Firefighters wore special protection suits while destroying the nest, which they did using a special tool to inject it with insecticide.
The Asian hornet is a type of wasp, and not to be confused with the Asian giant hornet, often referred to as the murder hornet.
Beekeepers in the Limburg province last summer reported sighting at least 16 Asian hornets – a serious danger for beehives in the area, considering the aggressiveness of the species towards native bees.
Nests of this invasive species can be reported to the fire department or to Brussels Environment.