IBE: A European raptor able to prey on Asian Hornet nests

IBE: A European raptor able to prey on Asian Hornet nests

News from IBE (CSIC-UPF)

A research team from the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (IBE) in Barcelona, a joint centre of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), has discovered that a daytime raptor is able to prey on Asian hornet (Vespa velutina) nests at times of maximum activity and productivity of their colonies.

The Asian Hornet, one of the world's most invasive and expanding species in Western Europe, represents a threat to indigenous biodiversity, beekeeping and human health. Now the discovery of the European Honey Buzzard as a possible native Asian Hornet predator opens many questions, since the raptor could become an ally to control the Asian Hornet population in its areas of nesting in Europe.

"There were already suspicions that the European Honey Buzzard could prey on the nests of the Asian Hornet, but now, thanks to genetic techniques, we have been able to prove it", explains Roger Vila, head of the study and principal investigator of the IBE.

More information:
IBE news

Macià, F. X., Menchetti, M., Corbella, C., Grajera, J. & Vila, R. (2019) Exploitation of the invasive Asian Hornet Vespa velutina by the European Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus. Bird Study (accepted)