Economic Costs of the Invasive Asian Hornet on Honey Bees

24 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2022

See all articles by Fabrice Requier

Fabrice Requier

University of Paris-Saclay

Alice Fournier

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Sophie Pointeau

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Quentin Rome

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Franck Courchamp

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Abstract

Biological invasions have ecological impacts worldwide with potential massive economic costs. Among other ecosystem services, invasive alien species are particularly known to impact pollination. By predating honey bees (Apis mellifera), the invasive Asian hornet (Vespa velutina nigrithorax) increases the mortality risk of European bee colonies; however, little is known about its economic costs. We developed an analytic process combining large-scale field data, niche modelling techniques and agent-based models to spatially assess the ecological and economic impacts of the Asian hornet on honey bees and beekeeping in France. In particular, we estimated (i) the hornet-related risk of bee colony mortality, (ii) the economic cost of colony loss for beekeepers and (iii) the economic impact of livestock replacement compared to honey revenues at regional and national scales. We estimated an overall density of 1.07 Asian hornet nest/km2 in France, based on the field record of 1260 nests over a searched area of 28,348 km2. However, this predator density was heterogeneously spread out across the country as well as the distribution of managed honey bee colonies. Overall, this hornet-related risk of bee colony mortality could reach up to 29.2% of the beekeepers’ livestock at national scale each year in high predation scenario. This national cost could reach as much as € 30.8 million per year due to colony loss, which represents for beekeepers an economic impact of livestock replacement of 26.6% of honey revenues. Our results suggest non-negligible ecological and economic impacts of the invasive Asian hornet on honey bees and beekeeping activities. Moreover, this study meets the urgent need for more numerous and accurate economic estimations, necessary to calculate the impact of biological invasions on biodiversity and human goods, with a view to enhance policies of biodiversity conservation.

Keywords: biological invasion, Colony mortality, Economic value, Modelling, Pollinator, Risk assessment

Suggested Citation

Requier, Fabrice and Fournier, Alice and Pointeau, Sophie and Rome, Quentin and Courchamp, Franck, Economic Costs of the Invasive Asian Hornet on Honey Bees. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4280914 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4280914

Fabrice Requier (Contact Author)

University of Paris-Saclay ( email )

Alice Fournier

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Sophie Pointeau

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Quentin Rome

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Franck Courchamp

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

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