Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell'Informazione     
Bortolotti L., Cervo R., Felicioli A., Quaranta M., Salvetti O., Berton A., Zagni F., Cini A., Cappa F., Pepiciello I., Petrocelli I., Moroni D., Medrzycki P., Lanteri N., Lodesani M. Progetto Velutina: la ricerca italiana a caccia di soluzioni. In: Atti Accademia Nazionale Italiana di Entomologia, vol. LXIV pp. 143 - 149. Accademia Nazionale Italiana di Entomologia, 2016.
Velutina project: Italian research hunting for solution Vespa velutina Lepieltier, 1836 (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) is an invasive predator of honeybees accidentally introduced into Europe from eastern Asia. It was observed for the first time in southwest France in 2004 and in the following years it rapidly spread almost all over the country. In 2013 it was officially reported in Italy, in the region Liguria, near the border with France. In three years it invaded the whole province of Imperia and it was occasionally reported also in the South Western of Piedmont and in one locality in South Eastern Piedmont. The VELUTINA project was funded in 2014 by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, with the aim of finding effective control methods against the predator. It includes both research and surveillance: adult and nest monitoring; development of methods for nest detection; development of protocols for nest destruction; studies on wasp chemical communication. Adult monitoring was performed in 5 Italian regions - the two where the hornet is already present and the three bordering ones - with the cooperation of Universities, research centres and beekeeping associations. Reports of V. velutina nests were collected from 2014 to 2016 thanks to the activity of the beekeeping association Apiliguria. Between 2014 and 2015 the presence of V. velutina was confirmed in the provinces were it was already present, with a small enlargement of the distribution area, both along the coast and the valleys, with no trespassing to other regions. Only recently, in November 2016, the presence of V. velutina was reported and confirmed by our institution in a locality of Veneto region, very near to the border with Lombardy and Emilia Romagna. At present, nest destruction represents the most effective method to limit the diffusion of the hornet, but it shows limitations and inconveniences. Nests are often difficult to locate and reach, their destruction is costly and risky for the staff and it is not regulated by official approved protocols. Within VELUTINA project some progresses have been made towards the official recognition of the method, thanks to the cooperation with national and regional institutions. After the end of Velutina project, the researchers of the project and the beekeeping associations of the invaded areas joined together in the scientific net Stopvelutina (www.stopvelutina.it), whose aim is to collect information and find new solutions to limit the spread of V. velutina. Beside the continuation of previous researches, a patent pending method was tested in summer 2016 to fight V. velutina adults in front of the apiaries in Liguria. From the first preliminary results the method resulted highly effective and it seems suitable to contrast the predator also in new invaded areas.
URL: http://www.accademiaentomologia.it/Rendiconti/2016/Atti%202016%20web.pdf
Subject Vespa velutina
Computer vision
Infrared Imaging
Harmonic radar
I.2.10 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE. Vision and Scene Understanding

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