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Who should pay to kill hornet nests

Beekeepers' union says the state should pay to remove deadly Asian hornet nests

THE NESTS of the deadly Asian hornet are a national problem and people should not have to pay €200 to have them removed, according to a beekeepers' union.

March is when the nests are being built and a good time to destroy them. Since its first appearance in 2005 the hornet has spread to 27 departments in France.

The Asian hornet's sting is worse than a normal wasp or bee and can result in hospitalisation. Certain cases involving allergies or multiple stings have been fatal.

The hornet also eats other insects, including bees, which is having an affect on the pollination of crops.

Spokeswoman for beekeepers’ union Unaf, Anne Henriot, said the state should pay for the destruction of nests as the cost encouraged householders to put themselves in danger trying to pull them down or to do nothing at all, which helped the insects to spread further.

Some nests can grow up to a metre long.

"This is a public health and safety issue, it is not right that people have to pay, though they often do, especially if the nest is close to their house and they are scared," she said.

Some people have also asked local beekeepers for help, she said. Unaf says the spread of the hornet has been "spectacular" since the first one was found in Lot-et-Garonne. They are still mainly in the south-east but have been spotted as far away as the Ile-de-France.

If you see a nest you should tell your mairie so they are aware of the problem.

They should advise on a destruction firm.

The hornets have a dark brown thorax and an orange/yellow band around a brown abdomen.

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