Trapping campaigns are organised annually at this time of year, as the weather begins to get warmer and queens begin to emerge from hibernation.
And the Charente-Maritime town of Royan Atlantique, on France’s west coast, is leading the way, as the below video shows.
Experts say that now is the time to begin using the traps, as catching queen hornets in the process of building their nests will lead to far fewer insects later in the year.
Some 2,000 traps are installed in and around Royan this year, including 300 that were distributed to householders in the week of Valentine’s Day.
Once installed, the traps can capture several dozen insects at a time.
In order to capture a maximum of hornet queens, traps should be installed between mid-February and mid-May. Especially since during this period, these predators end up coming out of their hibernation.
It is believed Asian hornets arrived in France around 2004. They have now spread nationwide.
Although their venom is not more powerful than that of normal bees or wasps, they are known to be more aggressive towards humans, and their stings can cause anaphylactic shock in allergic people.
The hornets also damage beehives and kill bees, damaging honey stocks and destroying the native ecosystem.