I was saddened to learn about the death of a man in France last month from hornet stings, so soon after the death of an old friend of my partner in similar circumstances in the Finistère. He was stung three times in the neck and behind an ear.
By the time help arrived only 15 minutes’ later, he was already dead. His throat had swelled to the size of his head with the poison and nothing could be done to save him.
A couple of years ago I stumbled upon an Asian hornets’ nest and telephoned the mairie, who advised me to contact the pompiers, which I duly did, only to be told that they no longer deal with such nests and that I would need to find a private company via the Pages Jaunes at my own cost (around €150 +VAT).
I was not in a position to pay this but thanks to the prudence, kindness and goodwill of a member of the mairie, the nest was destroyed the following day. I was subsequently shown its intricate and fascinating design.
If communes are not prepared to recognise the serious risk to life and intervene, then innocent people’s lives are going to be put at risk.
Cheryl BOYCE, By email