|Trap contents from a brown-sugar-baited trap in |
South Korea, including V. mandarinia and V. crabro
Yet very few of those traps have actually caught a hornet. Not catching hornets, however, is good – and provides meaningful information.
WSDA entomologists Sven Spichiger and Chris Looney recently returned from a trip to South Korea where they conducted or began various types of hornet research in partnership with some local collaborators in an area where the hornets are well established.
One of the experiments involved placing five traps - like those WSDA and citizen scientists have been using for the past two years - to look for the hornets. The traps used the brown sugar bait option – an option that was added in 2021 in addition to the orange juice and rice cooking wine bait option.
The mini-experiment suggested that when hornets are around, the traps will catch them. Although the traps were placed several weeks before peak worker hornet season, WSDA was able to trap two Vespa mandarinia and six Vespa crabro (European hornet) specimens from June 9 - 24.
When you run a trap and catch nothing, that is a great result! It suggests that there are no hornets where you live. So, even if you are disappointed that you’ve never caught a hornet, please consider being a citizen scientist again and help us monitor hornet populations in the state. Whether you catch a hornet or not, it provides the data we need to eradicate this invasive hornet.