Newbury Beekeepers Association
Newbury Beekeepers Association 

 ASIAN HORNET WATCH 

The following information and image have been provided courtesy of The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copywrite.

The Asian hornet (Vespa velutina) is a species of hornet which is not native to the UK. It is smaller than our native hornet and poses no greater risk to human health than other hornets or bees.

However, they do pose a risk to honey bees and pollinating insects. This is why we are keen to stop this insect establishing in the UK, and why you should report suspected sightings.

When a sighting is confirmed, experts from the National Bee Unit (NBU) and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) will work quickly to find and destroy any active nests in the area.

Current situation

To date, there have been 13 confirmed sightings of the Asian hornet in England and six nests have been destroyed.

Nine of these sightings occurred in 2018; an individual hornet in Lancashire (April) and Hull, three in Cornwall, two in Hampshire, one in Surrey (all September) and the latest in Kent (October).

It is crucial you report any possible sightings so our experts can take quick and effective action to eradicate Asian hornets.

Nicola Spence, Chief Plant Health Officer, said:

By ensuring we are alerted to possible sightings as early as possible, we can take swift and effective action to stamp out the threat posed by Asian hornets.

While the Asian hornet poses no greater risk to human health than a bee, we recognise the damage they can cause to honey bee colonies and other beneficial insects.

Please continue to look out for any Asian hornets and if you think you’ve spotted one, report your sighting through the Asian hornet app or online.

How to spot an Asian hornet

Asian hornets:

  • have a dark brown or black velvety body
  • have a yellow or orange band on fourth segment of abdomen
  • have yellow tipped legs
  • are smaller than the native European hornet
  • are not active at night

How to report an Asian hornet

If you suspect you have seen an Asian hornet you should report this using the ‘Asian Hornet Watch’ app:

You can also report sightings by email: alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk. Please include information on location, date and number of Asian hornets you have seen. Please also include a photo if you can to help our experts identify the insect.

Alternatively, you can fill out an online report form

If you find a nest, don’t try to remove it yourself – it can be dangerous and should only be done by experts.

performing a "cut out" to rehome honeybees

 

Occasionally we are asked to remove bees that have made themselves a home within the fabric of a building, here are some photographs of a recent cut out performed by one of our beekeepers.  Once the combs and bees have been removed they are rehomed in a beehive which will be relocated once the bees have finished flying for the day.

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