Last year my friend’s beehives were ravaged by hornets, so whenever I have the chance I like to check on them for him during hornet season.
Now, This year’s weather has been pretty much disastrous (lucky us) for the hornets on Awaji Island, torrential rain in spring to hinder the nest building followed by a couple of huge typhoons in late summer which drove the final nail into the coffin for the underground dwelling species. As for the hornets who build up high and dry, well…. Even that practice was no match against the tree uprooting wind and the bucket loads of endless rain
The Japanese giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia japonica) is called ōsuzumebachi 大雀蜂 which is literally “great sparrow bee”.
The Japanese yellow hornet (Vespa simillima xanthoptera) kiiro suzumebacho (キイロスズメバチ) the English translation is the same as the Japanese name.
Once this invasive species flowers, it marks the end of my honey season. Bees, flies and other nectar-gathering insects love this plant, probably due to the fact that there are virtually no other flowers around this time.
After my last leaf hunting trip I decided to give it one more chance and take a trip off island to see if I could get some better results.
At least I now know for sure that I really don’t like taking pictures of the autumn colours. Hiking through them, viewing them I love, but as the photos just don’t do them justice (well my photos don’t) it just seems like a waste of time.
Next year I’ll still continue to take photos but in reality I’d rather spend the time going on a longer hike.
I did encounter a nice udon shop which only serves 20 meals per day and I did find a few more things for my garden 🙂 so the trip was worth while.
With an extremely dry summer the honey production on Awaji island has apparently not been a good one. This hive was not harvest and the bee-keeper decided to leave it until next year. He said the hive may not survive the winter.
I so much want to have my own bees…. next year maybe ?