This study investigated how beehive muzzles lowered homing failure and foraging paralysis in European honey bees when stressed by Asian hornets (Vespa velutina nigrithorax).
The beehive muzzles were constructed from 6mm square mesh and a piece of plywood, which extended 25cm in front of the beehive opening. The mesh allowed the honey bees to freely enter the hive, and prevented access to V. v. nigrithorax.
From 2013 to 2016, 22 pairs of beehives in France were compared;
During the observations, up to 20 hornets were observed hovering outside the hives independently of the presences of the beehive muzzles. The beehive muzzle did not affect hornet-related homing failure, however they significantly reduced the bees’ foraging paralysis. Predictive modelling highlighted the presence of beehive muzzles increased the survival probability of hornet-stressed colonies when high numbers of V. v. nigrithorax were present.
Fabrice Requier, Rome, Q., Villemant, C. and Henry, M. (2019). A biodiversity-friendly method to mitigate the invasive Asian hornet’s impact on European honey bees. Journal of Pest Science. 93. 9.