As if it wasn’t enough that we have wasps and European hornets, there are now Asian hornets spreading across Europe. I previously wrote an article ‘Wasp or Hornet which is worse?’ But that doesn’t describe Asian Hornets.
Asian Hornets are apparently no more dangerous to humans than European Hornets (still evil though). But what makes them truly evil is they attack bees. Note: These are not to be confused with the Giant Asian Hornet (Vespa mandarinia) which are not found in Europe.
But there is some good news…
Scientists have found that the Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia) has learnt to attract and devour Asian Hornets.
From the BBC website:
The hornets are apparently attracted by Sarracenia’s nectar and pheromones on the plant’s tubular leaves. Once the hornet crawls inside the rim at the top it easily slips and plunges into the pitcher, to be digested by the plant’s juices.
The trap appears to be a European adaptation, as Asian hornets do not exist in Sarracenia’s native Massachusetts, in the eastern US. The plant can be grown easily in Europe and is not considered a threat to native flora.
Here’s a picture of this wonderful Hornet-killing plant:
and it looks like you buy seeds online – I found some on Amazon.
Now all we need is for Pitcher Plants to start killing European Hornets and Wasps and we have the perfect plant.