Tuesday, June 16, 2020

How to make the giant hornet trap

This  website is intended for beekeepers in Whatcom County and British Columbia who would like to build a hive mounted trap for the Asian Giant Hornet. This site provides a materials list for making one, instructions, drawings, and some basic information on how the trap works, and how it might be further improved. As I learn more, or get feedback to improve the design, I will update the site.

Although no one knows at this point (mid-June 2020) if there are established colonies, in light of recent sightings, the chances seem high that this is likely, and they may be spread over a considerable area within Vancouver, and south of it. Having the ability to build inexpensive and easy to build traps may be a real asset in the months to come.

This is not the only way to protect a hive. Both bottle traps and sticky boards are common ways that the hornet is trapped in Japan, as well the use of meshes or lattices that prevent the larger hornet from entering the hive. However the experience of Japanese beekeepers is  that those safeguards on their own are not sufficient- eventually the hornets learn to work around them, and wait for bees to exit, or return, outside the hive.
June 2020 Trap Design

The goal of this design is to a.) make the trap as easy as possible to make with the minimum of materials, tools, or woodworking skills, b.) make it out of inexpensive and relatively easy to find materials, and c.) make it simple to install and work with. Also- it traps live hornets, which should they be needed by the state or province to track down the colony, may prove useful.

The design included here is based on my own research of existing commercial trap designs seen on Japanese websites, as well as referring to  a 1970's  scientific paper that first described the design. I have never seen a real one, never seen a real hornet, and never trapped one. So  to some degree, the trap is "experimental", and might need tweaking. However, as you'll see if you look at commercially available traps, it is almost identical, and I feel hopeful that it will be as successful as those.

There is still work to be done on the design.  Anyone game to build one and let me know of possible improvements, any suggestions would  be very appreciated. Email me- or post below.

Hopefully, no one catches a hornet- and hopefully the hornets don't gain a foothold. Hopefully this is just precautionary- but in the time left between now and August, it might be worth building a few for those near the epicenters.

Thanks to everyone in Whatcom and B.C. that supported me in developing the design- let's hope for the best!

Construction sequence (see "Steps" at right)

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