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Author Topic: Greetings from a two year old beekeeper living in Japan  (Read 803 times)
honeybeesinjapan
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« on: November 23, 2012, 03:12:50 AM »

Hello everyone on Beemaster.  I found the Beemaster forum when I was listening to the Wildlife pro network podcast on iTunes.  It was very informative.  I'm an American living in Southern Japan and have been beekeeping here in Japan for two years now.  I caught a swam last year and was so excited. My excitement changed to horror and sadness when the Giant Japanese hornet came calling.  They killed every bee in the hive and took the honey.  These hornets are the largest in the world. They are 5 cm's long and are very scary beasts indeed.  They kill about 100 people in Japan every year.  This year I was ready for them and made it through the hornet season.  Now I'm getting ready for winter.  I have a Japanese guy who is my mentor and I thought it would be interesting to keep a record of how Japanese people keep bees.  I think it will be interesting to compare and contrast the American way with the Japanese way.
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Jeanette
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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2012, 03:37:01 AM »

Welcome to the forum! Your comment about the Giant Japanese hornet intrigued me. I read on Wikipedia that

"When an Apis cerana hive is invaded by the Japanese giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia), about 500 Japanese honey bees (A. cerana japonica) surround the hornet and vibrate their flight muscles until the temperature is raised to 47 °C (117 °F), heating the hornet to death, but keeping the temperature still under their own lethal limit (48–50 °C). European honey bees (A. mellifera) lack this behavior."

What precautions did you have to take to make it through the hornet season?
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Jeanette
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Jim 134
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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2012, 03:52:35 AM »

Japanese Giant Hornet Scout Killed by Asian Bees

http://youtu.be/rPVA-ZNlcXo



         BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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honeybeesinjapan
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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2012, 04:54:25 AM »

There is a special trap used for the GJH.  Its called a HOKAKUKI or WANNA which means trap.  The trap must be put on the hive and covers the entrance.  Some beekeepers here use a 6 or 7mm entrance but this is not always failsafe.  I had a friend this year who caught a swarm in the spring and the hornets chewed the entrance until they were able to get in the hive.  They have huge mandbles.  These hornets are monsters.  My trap caught about 75 and I killed about 35 of them with a badminton racket.  The badminton racket works great. One whack and its all over. If you want to see me whack one search for Giant Japanese Hornet badminton on YT.



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tefer2
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« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2012, 08:32:36 AM »

Welcome to Beemaster forum, looking forward to your posts.
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AllenF
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« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2012, 09:55:19 AM »

Welcome to the forum.
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Joe D
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« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2012, 06:36:12 PM »

Welcome to the forum, good luck with your bees.




Joe
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divemaster1963
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« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2012, 08:13:24 PM »

The Title Thur me for a loop for a minute. Undecided then I read the story. I have watched Discovery when they showed the GJH. man they are big and dangerous. I liked the way they tracked them by tying a 3 foot long streamer to them and let them go back to the nest. here in Ga. we have a hornet that is about the same size. thank god they have no interest in the hives but they love to investigate you and will hover around your face looking at you. these hornets are only looking for cicada buried in the ground.

welcome to the forum.

John
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honeybeesinjapan
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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2012, 03:17:44 AM »

Thanks everyone for your kind greetings.  Jeanette made a comment about the Apis cerana japicona and the GJH. They are the native honeybees to Japan and have developed a way to survive a GJH attack.  They ball the scout hornet and cook it to death. If they fail to kill the scout then their hive will be invaded by 20 or 30 GJH.  The European honeybee Apis malifera linguistica was brought to Japan about 120 years ago for honey production.  They have no defense against the GJH.  This is the type I have now.
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Jeanette
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« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2012, 01:32:42 AM »

I found your video at
Giant Japanese Hornet Badminton
  Those hornets look huge!

For other members ... the video shows the trap box in action with several hornets already caught inside and another trying to enter. The badminton 'game' starts at around the 4:30 minute mark. After the 'game' you get to see the hornet up close.
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Jeanette
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