top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down

Anti-hornet spray is ‘effective’

Beekeepers hail ‘a real advance’ as a health and safety body confirms that banned pesticide sulphur dioxide works well

SULPHUR dioxide is an effective method for combating the Asian hornet, says France’s national health and safety body despite the gas being banned for use earlier this year.

The Agence Nationale de Sécurité Sanitaire (Anses) had been asked by the government to decide on the best way of fighting the invasive hornet, which eats bees and other pollinating insects. Its ruling confirmed the view of many beekeepers, who had been using sulphur dioxide to kill hornets for years.

Beekeepers had been shocked in May when the government sent out a circular banning the substance, which had never formally been approved.

A leading member of national beekeepers’ body Unaf, Richard Legrand, said the Anses decision was “a real advance in the struggle against the Asian hornet”. He added that they were now waiting for a decision approving it from the Agriculture Ministry.

Asian hornets are thought to have arrived in France from Asia nine years ago and are now found in 60 departments. They continue to spread by around 100km a year.

Unaf say sulphur dioxide is the only way to destroying hornet nests located high up – sometimes more than 20m off the ground – without harming the environment.

Though it is toxic, Unaf says it is harmless to people and the environment if used correctly. It may have been used to destroy as many as 5,000 nests last year just in Aquitaine, researchers say.

Other methods of combatting the hornet include trapping them in the spring.

The hornet is not just a danger to bees and insects, but biodiversity in general, impacting on flower pollination and migratory birds. It is classified as a “second class health and safety danger”, meaning destroying them is strongly advised.

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now