Rural – Jersey Country Life Magazine

EUNE FROUQU’THÉE D’JÈRRIAIS – (A FORKFUL OF JÈRRIAIS)

We continue our series of articles in Jèrriais – Jersey’s own traditional native language. The ‘frouque’ in question is a digging fork, rather than a table fork. An English translation follows.

This contribution comes from Andy Le Gresley

La chasse ès Frêlons Âsiatiques

Y’a deux’-trais ans, j’rêponnis à eune rétchête sus Facebook pouor des nouvieaux volantaithes à tracer et trapper les Frêlons Âsiatiques. Chutte manniéthe învâsibl’ye arrivit au Sud dé la France i’ y’ a plusieurs années et il’ ont r’mué rédguliéthement vèrs lé Nord viyant qué l’ changement du clyînmat lus pèrmette à s’êtendre. I’ sont portés vèrs Jèrri grâce ès vents d’Êst et il’ ont ‘té veus ichîn dé pus en pus nombreux. Pon comme nos natifs vêpres et nos frêlons Ûropéens, il’ attaquent nos précieuses moûques à myi et i’ dêtruithent lus rueûeques. Don, j’fus bein aise dé jouaindre la batâle!

Lé Départment d’l’Envithonnement d’s Êtats prînt la m’niche hardi séthieusement et il’ appointîtent un co-ordinnateu pouor les Frêlons Âsiatiques à pliein temps. 

I’ nos meunit auve des trappes et du rose bouoillon espécial qu’ les Frêlons Âsiatiques trouvent partitchuliéthement un gout d’èrvas-y. J’pliaichînmes les trappes dans not’ gardîn duthant tchiques années sans êffet … jusqu’à l’Ête pâssé!

Un co’ qu’nou-s-a attrapé un Frêlon Âsiatique, nou n’peut pon l’confondre auvec autcheune autre însecte. Lus tcheue est néthe auve d’s oranges rîles et il’ ont des jaunes pattes. Nos frêlons natifs sont seulement la maîntchie en grandeu et il’ont des rîles êgales jaunes et néthes.

J’ fus aîdgi ch’t’ année par d’ autres volantaithes à apprendre des techniques pouor tracer ches p’tites bêtes à seule fîn qu’ lus nids piêssent être dêtruits. La technique prîncipale est à placer du rose bouoillon dans un potîn ouvèrt pouor qué les frêlons piêssent les visiter et èrtouônner à lus nid. Et pis, nou-s-observe la direction qu’i’ prannent pouor voler à lus nid et graduellement i’ faut r’muer l’bouillon avâu la ligne dé vo jusqu’à ch’qué nou trouve lé nid.

Ch’est possibl’ye, s’ ous êtes partitchuliéthement couothageux, d’faithe sèrvi eune piéche d’êtchipement espécial d’un souongneux d’bourdons à seule fîn dé happer un frêlon et pliaichi eune mèrque en couleu sus san dos. En chutte manniéthe, nou peut minnuter un frêlon dêtèrminné tchi vole en r’allant d’èrtou au nid et caltchuler la distance dé san nid. Ch’est estînmé qu’un r’tou d’ eune minnute est êga d’eune distance dé chent mètres en vo.

Chutte procéduthe exigit tout à fait d’la pâcienche, d’la pliann’nie aussi bein qu’ un tas d’ bouonne chance! Un co qu’nou-s-a r’mué l’endrait d’la bète, nou dait donner ès frêlons un jour à peu près pouor la trouver et pis nou peut c’menchi à les observer acouo eune fais. Chennechîn peut produithe des rêsultats vraîment innattendu – nou peut trouver des frêlons en vo dans eune nouvelle direction, chein tchi sîngnifie probabliément qu’un aut’ nid est tout près, ou i’ peuvent dispathaitre compliétement, dans chu cas nou dait èrtouônner d’éyou qu’nou-s-a c’menchi!   

J’sis bein heûtheux à dithe qué j’prîns part dans la trouv’thie d’ plusieurs nids ch’t’ année. I’ n’ sont pon touos aîsi à vaie. Cèrtains sont jutchis hauts dans des bouais tout pliein d’fielles, d’autres peuvent être muchis dans des ronches ou des fielles. Pus d’eune fais, j’tais d’but sus mes gambes souos un nid sans m’apèrchever d’l’activité bein muchie tchi ‘tait à s’pâsser au d’ssus d’ma tête.

Les volantaithes pouor la compt’tie des frêlons âsiatiques travaillîtent hardi dû ch’t’ année, trouvant pus d’ 330 nids. Touos ches nids fûtent traités par des spécialistes pouor empêchi l’êparpil’lie d’chu bâfreux prédateu. Sans doute l’année tchi veint s’en va apporter la même chose, toutefais ch’est bein satisfaisant d’saver qué tout chu bouôn travas s’en va sauver l’av’nîn d’nos moûques à myi.

English translation:

Chasing Asian Hornets

Two or three years ago I answered a request on Facebook for new volunteers to track and trap Asian Hornets. This invasive species arrived in the South of France several years ago and have steadily moved North as climate change has enabled them to spread. The are carried over to Jersey on Easterly winds and are being seen here in increasing numbers.

Unlike our resident wasps and European hornets, they prey on our precious honey bees and destroy their hives. So, I was pleased to join the fight!

The States Environmental department has taken the threat very seriously and appointed a full-time Asian Hornet coordinator. He provided us with some traps and some special pink potion which the Asian Hornets find particularly attractive. We placed the traps in our garden over the last few years with no effect… until this summer!

Once you have trapped an Asian Hornet, there’s no mistaking it for anything else. Their tail is mainly black with some orange stripes, and they have yellow legs. Our native wasps are only half the size and have even yellow and black stripes.

I was helped this year by other volunteers to learn some of the techniques to track these little beasts so that their nests could be destroyed. The main technique is to place some of the pink potion in an open pot so the hornets can visit it and fly back to their nest. You then observe the direction they fly off in, and gradually move the ‘bait station’ along the flight path until you find the nest.

It’s possible, if you’re particularly brave, to use a special piece of beekeeper’s equipment to catch a hornet and place a coloured mark on its back. That way you can time a specific hornet as it flies back and forth to work out how far away the nest is. It’s estimated that a round trip of 1 minute equates to a distance of 100m travelled.

This process takes quite a lot of patience, planning as well as a lot of good luck! Once you’ve moved a bait station, you need to allow the hornets a day or so to find it and then you can start observing them again. This can produce some quite unexpected results – you can find hornets flying off in a  new direction, meaning there’s probably another nest nearby, or they can disappear completely in which case you need to go back to where you started!

I’m pleased to say that I played a part in finding a number of nests this year. Not all are easy to see – some of them are high up in leafy trees, others can be hidden in thick brambles or leaves. More than once I stood right underneath a nest high up in a tree, oblivious to the well-hidden activity high above my head!

The Asian Hornet tracking volunteers worked incredibly hard this year, locating more than 330 nests. All these nests were treated by specialists to prevent the further spread of this voracious predator. No doubt next year will bring more of the same, however its very satisfying to know that all this great work is safeguarding the future for our bees.

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