LIFE STOPVESPA - Spatial containment of Vespa velutina in Italy and establishment of an Early Warning and Rapid Response System

LIFE14 NAT/IT/001128

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Marco Porporato
Tel: 00390116708584
Fax: 00390112368584
Email: marco.porporato@uni.to.it

Project description:


The Asian predatory wasp (Vespa velutina) is an invasive alien species that poses a serious threat to European biodiversity due to its alimentary habits. The wasp feeds larvae on animal proteins from native wasps, bees, other hymenoptera, diptera and lepidoptera. The species is being controlled in France through the use of baited traps and the destruction of nests. But these methods have proved to be inadequate and the species has spread to most of France and other countries, including Italy. The invasive species could prey honey bees and raise alarms when nesting in urban areas.


The main objective of LIFE STOPVESPA is to contain the invasive wasp species and prevent it from further invading Italy. It will develop a prototype and an effective monitoring and control system that will enable the species to be removed from those already affected areas in Liguria and Piedmont. Specifically, the project aims to:

  • Develop a prototype of harmonic radar provided by a transponder, in order to locate flying wasps flying back to their nests. The harmonic radar could greatly improve the search for colonial nests early in the season, even those hidden among the vegetation, allowing them to be destroyed before new queens are created;
  • Remove all colonial nests present in the invaded area (western Liguria and southern Piedmont) and those that may be established during the project;
  • Implement an Early Warning and Rapid Response System at the regional and national level to prevent further invasions; and
  • Create a coordinated coalition of trained volunteers among beekeepers to detect and destroy colonial nests.
  • Expected results:

  • New tools and a management model for alien wasps that will be useful to manage V. velutina and other introduced wasps in Europe;
  • Use of attractive beehives placed in areas without beekeepers to attract and monitor invasive wasps;
  • GIS-based maps of wasp and colonial nest distribution that will be used to explain the trend of removal operations;
  • Elimination of possible public alarm due to the presence of colonial nests;
  • Creation of an emergency team that could rapidly intervene in other invaded areas;
  • Increased awareness on the impacts produced by invasive species and V.velutina in particular; and
  • Dissemination of the new methods developed by STOPVESPA at national and international level.



Environmental issues addressed:


Biodiversity issues - Invasive species


monitoring system‚  voluntary work

Target EU Legislation

  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • COM(2013) 620 final “Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on t ...
  • COM(2011) 244 final “Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 ...

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Università degli Studi di Torino
Type of organisation University
Description The University of Turin is one of the largest universities in Italy. Its Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Sciences (DISAFA) carries out research into various aspects of agricultural and forestry resources protection and food production and assessment. A research group focuses on general and applied entomology, including pest and invasive alien species management, apiculture and pollination ecology.
Partners ASPROMIELE(Associazione Regionale Produttori Apistici del Piemonte - ASPROMIELE Piemonte), Italy APIBEN(Abbazia dei Padri Benedettini Santa Maria di Finalpia), Italy POLITO(Politecnico di Torino - Dipartimento di Elettronica e Telecomunicazioni), Italy


Project reference LIFE14 NAT/IT/001128
Duration 01-AUG-2015 to 31-JUL -2019
Total budget 2,273,738.00 €
EU contribution 1,364,254.00 €
Project location Piemonte(Italia)


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