Genoa – A “stinker” according to Angelo Ferrari, general director of the Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Piedmont-Liguria and Valle d’Aosta; a merciless killer for Alessandro Piana, vice president of the Liguria region with responsibility for agriculture; a real calamity for the 2648 Ligurian beekeepers currently active. There is talk of the wasp velutina, the insect that has been around for a few years cannibalizes European bees including Ligurian bees. Arrived on board a ferry a few years ago, imported together with a stock of bonsai from China, the velutina wasp lives by eating bees: it weighs three times the weight and is a deadly hunter.
Today was presented what should be the scientific solution capable, if not of eradicating it, of limiting the damage and saving the agricultural enterprises of Liguria, Piedmont and Val D’Aosta: this is the “Metodo Z” with interventions on the apiaries affected by the predatory insect through a neutralization system that exploits the contamination of a certain number of wasp workers present in the hives. The use of a very small dose of biocide product is sufficient to cause the death of the other adult specimens and of the queen. We want to demonstrate that repeated treatments after some time are able to completely neutralize the nest without risks for other species, for the environment and minimizing the possibility of accidents for the operator.
«The green light from Rome for the project is fundamental – explains Piana – we must open up new contrast strategies and, on the other hand, to respond to the needs of environmental protection and our beekeeping. Operational actions in Liguria will be systematically launched from spring 2022 ». The “Life Stopvespa” project between Liguria and Piedmont has already contributed to the effective removal of the nests reported in Liguria with various neutralization and monitoring teams, in collaboration with institutions, local Civil Protection units, trade associations and beekeepers. Now the aim is to give the killer wasp the coup de grace.