Reading and District Beekeepers' Association
Providing support to beekeepers in and around Reading


​What is the difference between a bait trap and a bait lure?

A bait trap captures insects and requires you to release them or freeze them if an Asian hornet (as it’s not legal for a member of the public to release an Asian hornet). The disadvantage of the bait trap is that it can trap other insects as well as the Asian hornet. The
French have found that during summer and autumn, if an Asian hornet was captured in the trap and left there it attracted more Asian hornets into the trap.

A bait lure attracts the insect to feed off it, but insects can then fly away. Asian hornets are known to return to the lure on a regular basis and stay long enough for you to take a photograph. Asian hornets are not aggressive whilst feeding.

The wick method (with a J cloth) means that less liquid gets evaporated or diluted by rain.
Instructions and examples of other lures can be found here.

What to use as bait?

Jersey has found that Suterra/Trappit is most effective because it does not attract honeybees and can be used in spring and autumn. Trappit is available to purchase from Thornes. The French company Veto-Pharma has a product called Vespa Catch, which can be
bought in liquid, either in 1 litre bottles or individual sachets from Thornes. Thornes also sell traps.

Bait recipes to use in Spring for Queen trapping:

  • Half litre of dark beer plus two tablespoons of sugar, mix together and add sufficient to trap or lure as/when required.
  • Half litre of water, three tablespoons of sugar, one cup of cider vinegar, mix together and add sufficient to trap or lure as/when required.
  • Half litre dark beer plus cup of blackcurrant cordial, mix together and add sufficient to trap or lure as/when required.
  • 350ml sweet white wine and 20-30ml mint syrup.
  • Orange juice.

In the summer/Autumn, Asian hornet workers feed on protein (ie other insects), mashed prawns, fish or cat food are good but can smell. Jersey have preferred to use Suterra.

Andrew Durham (beekeeper in France) uses a homemade mix of sugar water, bakers yeast and jam.

The AHAT members of Reading Beekeeping Association will be testing different attractants during 2024. We aim to place a number of traps during 6-8 weeks starting/late mid-February (depending on weather conditions and temperature) to capture any foundress Asian hornet queens. We will be using a selection of traps all of which will allow any other insect to escape except for the Asian hornet queens.

The committee have purchased a number of traps (which can also be converted to bait/lure feeding stations. If you are a full member of RBKA please contact the committee to request one. These will also be available at any of the monthly lectures.

Monitoring traps can be used in the spring or late summer especially around risk points such as ports or areas where nests have occurred previously. A fact sheet on how to make an Asian hornet monitoring trap is available from the Asian hornet pages of BeeBase. It would be very helpful if all beekeepers who use monitoring traps were encouraged to record their use on BeeBase by editing their apiary records. Log into Beebase, click on 'My apiaries' and select apiary and edit those details. Scroll down to see where to list your monitoring trap information. It is illegal to trap and release an Asian Hornet.

See the National Bee Unit's Asian Hornet Monitoring document here.