The Asian Hornet – A new threat to our bees

 

Before the arrival on the UK shores of the Asian Hornet (Vespa velutina) back in 2016 it’s arrival had been feared, now that threat has become a reality.

As if the bee population was not under enough stress from other problems such as Varroa mite infestation, mono culture farming practices and use of pesticides this is just one more thing to be concerned about.

The Asian Hornet is not considered a threat to humans, unfortunately they kill Honey Bees and that is very worrying for Beekeepers. They have become widespread across much of central and southern France and the fear is the same could happen in the UK.

Asian Hornet Nest

The Hornets were first found in Jersey and Alderney in the summer of 2016, the first sighting on the UK mainland was in Tetbury in Gloucestershire, the number of sightings recorded since then is 13 confirmed sightings and a total of 6 nests were discovered and destroyed. During 2018 (up until October) there were 9 reports of sightings, 1 in Lancashire (April), 1 in Hull, 3 in Cornwall, 2 in Hampshire 1 in Surrey (All in September)  and 1 in Kent (October) for further details of these check out the Asian Hornet Advice

How to spot an Asian Hornet

  • They have a dark brown or black velvety body
  • They have a yellow or orange segement on the 4th segment of the abdomen.
  • Yellow tips on their legs.
  • Smaller that the European Hornet
  • They are not active at night.

Asian Hornet Abdomen

For information and to download an identification guide Asian Hornet Identification Guide

 

What you should do if you think you have seen an Asian Hornet

If you think you may have spotted one there are a number of ways you can report this.

You can download an app for your iPhone iPhone App

Your Android device Android app

Sightings can be reported by email to the following address alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk  Giving as much information as you can, including a photograph if possible.

Or you can also report via an Online report form

 

I hope this article has been of interest to you, if you have any questions or comments please leave them below and I will reply as soon as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

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