Some thirty volunteers and agents with the regional environment ministry took part on Sunday in a hunt to locate colonies of the Asian hornet in the Soller Valley. The hornet has, so far, only been detected in Soller, Deya and Fornalutx, and it is considered to be a threat to honeybees and to the future of apiculture.
At half eight in the morning, the volunteers congregated at the Puig d’en Canals and were given instructions on identifying nests and so not confusing these with those of other species. Having formed several groups, they set off into different wooded areas, armed with binoculars and maps in “looking for a needle in a haystack.”
Some groups focused on the Torrent Major and others on the area of Sa Figuera and Bàlitx, where the hornet has been seen the most. It needed bearing in mind that the hornet, which can grow to a length of three centimetres, builds large colonies which are hidden by trees that are especially leafy, so detecting nests was not easy. In addition, the hornet has a range of more than kilometers in a straight line, meaning potentially large distances in the mountainous terrain.
By the end of the day, only some hornets that had been caught by traps set by beekeepers in olive groves had been located.
As to colonies, there was no sign.