This week is Asian Hornet Week, and we ask; “I could be coming your way - are you ready?”

-Asian hornet Week takes place from the 9th to the 15th September.

Copyright: John Feltwell

Our Asian Hornet Action Teams (AHATS) across the country are helping government bee inspectors to combat this pest. Beekeepers on these teams have familiarised themselves with the features of this foreign pest and how to track it back to its nest. Many volunteered to help on the island of Jersey which is battling a serious situation with Asian hornets.

An Asian hornet sighting was confirmed in the Tamworth area of Staffordshire last week and the nest was found and has been destroyed. This was the second report this year, the first was in July in New Milton in Hampshire. This week, on the 9th of September (the first day of Asian hornet Week) a third Asian hornet has been found in Ashford, Kent. In each case, the hornets were spotted and reported by a member of the public.

All sightings of hornets are marked on our Asian Hornet Incursion map:

Anne Rowberry, the BBKA’s Asian hornet coordinator, said: “We are asking everyone to be vigilant in looking out for this alien species, the Asian Hornet, Vespa velutina. It could decimate our pollinators, including our honey bees, it is important to have everyone actively looking for it. It’s not just a beekeeping problem!

“Now is the time for trapping and spending a little more time watching to see if hornets are hawking your hives in your apiary, put an hour aside to watch each day for hornets during Asian Hornet week and remember to look for them on late sources of nectar like ivy.”

The risk of an active Asian hornet nest being found in the UK is negligible during the colder winter months, but higher during the  summer and autumn. As the leaves fall from the trees you may be able to spot a disused nest.

Asian hornets have already been spotted this year in countries close to the UK (France and Jersey) and a risk remains of accidentally  transporting an Asian hornet when returning to the UK from abroad.

It is crucial you report any possible sightings so experts can take quick and effective action to eradicate Asian hornets. The email to send photos and reports to is: [email protected]


Notes to editors:
This is a picture of the suits used on the island of Jersey when an Asian Hornet nest has to be destroyed and removed - more are  available. For interviews with Anne Rowberry please contact [email protected] 07841625797