a free nest destruction service offered in Compiègne

a free nest destruction service offered in Compiègne
a free nest destruction service offered in Compiègne

Since May, a Compiègne municipal police officer has intervened free of charge to eliminate Asian hornet nests. This species, designated as invasive, is as dangerous for biodiversity as it is for humans.

Since May, Guillaume Many, a municipal agent in Compiègne, has swapped his police uniform for a lined suit, reinforced shoes, gloves, a helmet and a visor. The essential equipment for eliminating Asian hornet nests. In one month, ten interventions were triggered in Compiègne.

If residents have the slightest doubt about the presence of Asian hornets in their home or garden, they can call the municipal police. I move to see that it is not the nest of another insect. And I intervene”, explains the municipal police officer. The agent then pricks the nest with a syringe and sprays a paralyzing biocidal powder which kills the insects one by one in their cocoon. If the nest is located more than eight meters high and in the event of a massive invasion, the Sdis is called upon.


A primary Asian hornet’s nest, found in the frame of a window in Compiègne, in June 2024

© Guillaume Many

An amateur beekeeper, this municipal agent intervenes in Compiègne to collect the bees and bring them back to the hive, a service set up in 2021 by the town hall. But this year, the municipal agent is tackling bigger things. “In view of the invasive proliferation of the Asian hornet on the national territory and the potential danger that the multiplication of Asian hornet nests may represent for the Compiègne population, as much as for the maintenance of the ecological niche of pollinators and in particular bees, I I asked our municipal agent to extend his service to the destruction of Asian hornet nests on public roads and in private homes in the town of Compiègne.announces Philippe Marini, mayor of Compiègne.

Nests can grow as big as a washing machine in late summer […] They absolutely must be destroyed first.”

Guillaume Many, agent municipal

A formidable predator of wild insects and domestic bees, the Asian hornet settled in France in 2004. Since then, it has proliferated and spread throughout Europe. “This is a real problem for biodiversity. Picardy is covered in them. Hornets destroy hives. They hover over hives, cut off the heads of bees as soon as they emerge, and carry their bodies back to their nest to feed their larvae. Nests can grow as large as a washing machine in late summer when the hornets have moved them to the treetops. They absolutely must be destroyed first.”insists the beekeeper.

The Asian hornet is now considered an invasive species. It is identifiable by orange markings on the face and the last segments of the abdomen. Its head is black and its legs are yellow at the end. Measuring around 3 cm, it is smaller than the European hornet, with a yellow coat striped with black.

The Asian hornet can sting its prey up to 10 times. Every day, people die from these bites

Guillaume Many, municipal police officer and amateur beekeeper

And above all, the risk of being bitten is greater because it is located near inhabited areas. “In recent years, episodes of wind and storms detach the nests which are rebuilt, particularly in homes or street furniture, because the hornet needs a water point for its nest. At the start of the season, in spring, hornets build their nests in the ground or 1.50 m from the ground in any support they find: mailboxes, manhole covers, window sills, lean-tos. explains Guillaume Many.

The hornet then becomes a danger to humans. “When I destroy the nests, my equipment is essential because the hornets come in clusters and attack with their stinger. They can’t bite the canvas and the visor that protects me, so they spit their venom. I often come out of the procedure with venom everywhere. Unlike the wasp which dies after the first sting, the Asian hornet can sting its prey up to 10 times. Every day, people die from these bites.”recalls Guillaume Many.


The Asian hornet is an invasive species, dangerous for biodiversity and for humans.

© PHILIPE ARNASSAN / MAXPPP

The service is free throughout the municipality of Compiègne. If you observe a phenomenon of this type in your garden or elsewhere during this favorable period, contact the municipal police at 03.44.36.36.00.

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