Biodiversity: the Council's actions

In 2008, Orne Council introduced a policy on sustainable development and the preservation of biodiversity and resources. Since then, special actions have been regularly introduced in partnership with local organisations.

A label for the maintenance of public spaces

Logo 3 feuilles de la charte d'entretien In 2006, Orne Council and the Lower Normandy FREDON (regional pest control federation) introduced a public space maintenance charter across the whole of Lower Normandy, with the objectives of improving water quality, while preserving ecosystems and protecting human health.

Orne Council thus decided, in 2008, on the widespread ban of plant protection chemicals in the green spaces for which it is responsible (e.g. gardens, 6,000km of roadside verges, etc.). New alternatives are now used, such as thermal-powered or manual weeders, mulching, composting, insect houses and so on. In 2010, this procedure was awarded the "Three Leaves" label granted by the council's charter. Obtaining this label has meant opting for mechanical or thermal (steam or hot water) maintenance methods and/or preventive ground covering methods.

The fight to eradicate the Asian hornet

How to recognise it

Frelon asiatique et européen The Asian hornet is 3cm long. It has a black head, a brown-black thorax and a brown-orange abdomen. Only the very tip of the abdomen is almost entirely yellow-orange. It builds a large, pulped-wood nest - which can measure from 60cm to 1 metre, depending on shape - in trees, open buildings or in holes in walls.

Ruche de frelons asiatiquesIt is a very serious predator for the bee. It raids hives and captures forager bees. As few as 5-10 hornets are able to eradicate an entire bee hive. For man, their sting is no more harmful than that of a European hornet. However if a colony is disturbed, there is a risk of multiple stings which can be dangerous for anyone suffering from allergies.

If you suspect the presence of Asian hornets, you can take a photograph of the insect and/or nest and e-mail it to the GDSCO and the FDGDON. These organisation will be able to confirm diagnosis. To eradicate a nest, you must contact a professional familiar with the scientifically recommended methods. Do not try to remove it yourself.

piège pour frelon asiatiqueAn inventory of the hornet situation

 At the end of July 2012, selective traps were set by the GDSCO and the FDGDON in order to establish an inventory of the hornet's presence in Orne.

This action is part of a partnership forged in 2008 between the GDSCO and Orne Council, aimed at improving the health of the bee population.

Orne Council awards the organisation an annual subsidiary to help fund the work of a bee specialist advising local beekeepers.  

The results will be published by the end of 2012.

Contact organisations

  • GDSCO (Groupement de Défense Sanitaire du Cheptel Ornais – section apicole)
    76 rue du chemin de Maures
    61004 ALENCON
    02 33 80 38 38
    gdsco [at] gdsco [dot] fr or philippe [dot] dorleans [at] gdsco [dot] fr
    Open Monday to Friday  from 8:30am to 12pm and 1:30pm to 5:30pm.
  • FDGDON (Fédération Départementale des Groupements de Défense contre les Organismes Nuisibles)
    78 rue Chemin de Maures
    61000 ALENCON
    02 33 26 58 33
    fdgdon [dot] 61 [at] orange [dot] fr
    Open Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 12pm and 1:30pm to 5:30pm.

A hive in Orne Council's gardens

Ruche installée au Conseil général The alternative methods used to maintain green spaces (see above) encourage biodiversity and have transformed Orne Council's own green space, located rue de la Demi-Lune in Alençon, into a haven for foraging domestic bees. In 2012, several flower meadows were planted and in July a hive was introduced by the GDSCO (Orne farm stock heath protection group - beekeeping section), a partner of Orne Council in a wide number of initiatives. 

Read the article about the Council's beehive (in French)