10 Sept 2020

The first Asian Hornet of 2020 has been confirmed in Gosport in Hampshire. Beekeepers and members of the public were today asked to remain vigilant.

The National Bee Unit has confirmed the sighting of Asian Hornets on a bunch of grapes in an area near Gosport. Live tracking of the hornets is underway and they hope to find the nest soon.

The Asian hornet is smaller than our native hornet and poses no greater risk to human health than our native wasps and hornets. However, they do pose a risk to honey bees. 

This is the first confirmed UK sighting since October 2019, when two related nests were detected and destroyed near Christchurch, Dorset. DNA tests on those nests and two others found in 2019 have shown that the queens all came from France. 

Defra’s Chief Plant and Bee Health Officer Nicola Spence 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. That’s why we are working at speed to locate and investigate any nests in the area following this confirmed sighting."

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