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Friday, March 1, 2013

The most lethal invader...Asian hornet that preys on native bees...


Hornets that prey on native bees and give a painful sting are the latest alien species preparing to invade Britain.

Hornets latest alien invader threatening UK
The Asian hornet preys on native honeybees, wasps and other pollinators Photo: Getty Images

Already invasive species like grey squirrels, muntjac deer and Japanese knotweed are causing problems in Britain.
Now the European Environment Agency fear more species are set to arrive on Britain's shores in the next few decades because of increasing trade and tourism.
The Asian hornet, which grows to between 2.5cm and 3cm (1-1.2 inches), preys on native honeybees, wasps and other pollinators, potentially devastating hives and threatening honey and crop production.
The species is prevalent in several southern European countries, such as Italy, after being imported from Asia via goods shipments, and is likely to expand its range north as the climate changes.
Species which are already in the UK and causing problems include common ragweed, which came in to Europe from North America in grain mixes intended as bird feed and is a potent trigger for hayfever and other allergies.
A killer shrimp, originally from Eastern Europe, is threatening fisheries. Other well-established invaders include the American mink, which has destroyed water vole populations, and parakeets that attack fruit crops.
Across Europe, invasive alien species cost around £10 billion a year, the EEA report said.
Species are most commonly brought in for horticulture, while other reasons they are brought in include farming, hunting and fishing or as pets. Some stow away in ships' ballast, such as the zebra mussel and are introduced unintentionally, the study said.
Jacqueline McGlade, EEA executive director, sad more will come as a result of increasing tourism and trade. Climate change may also be playing a role in the spread of species, by making areas increasingly suitable for new plants and animals.
"In many areas, ecosystems are weakened by pollution, climate change and fragmentation," she said.
"Alien species invasions are a growing pressure on the natural world, which are extremely difficult to reverse."

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At March 1, 2013 at 7:25 AM , Blogger Snowbird said...

I read about this recently, how terrifying! I haven't seen one yet and I'm hoping I don't!xxxxx

At March 1, 2013 at 10:57 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

We don't have Hornets, thank God.


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