The Role of BBKA Associations and Beekeepers concerning Asian Hornets

The BBKA are asking every Association to select a team of members who have taken the Asian Hornet Team Exercise.  This team will assist with local requests for help in identifying Asian Hornets.  It is vital that all beekeepers are able to identify Asian Hornets.

Each branch or group can establish their own team so that individuals will not be asked to travel vast distances. They should establish a good communication network between each other, so that the nearest team member can answer a call about a potential siting and call for back up if necessary.

For insurance purposes the team members must be Registered, Partner or Honorary members and must have completed the Asian Hornet Team Exercise.  The team will work with a co-ordinator to help identify the hornets. The co-ordinator must be recorded as an Officer on the eR2 membership database.

Asian Hornet Team training exercise for members

The BBKA Office will notify each Association/Branch when one of their members has completed the Asian Hornet Team Exercise.

Legend: blue pin = AHT coordinator (Team Leader),  red pin = AHT verifier (member of team}

What Does the Team do?

  • Form a communication network of people confident in identifying what could be an Asian Hornet.
  • Know how to report a suspected hornet
  • Distribute identifying literature  and inform individuals, businesses, markets gardeners etc in their area about Asian Hornets and how to report them
  • Know how to set up open bait stations and advise the public about monitoring them (from a distance) if they are in suitable places such as a garden.
  • Provide contact numbers so that hornets can be reported
  • Establish monitoring traps in their area or when directed by bee inspector

Each team should be organised with contact numbers and a team leader who can be contacted by an Area Association Coordinator. (This will facilitate easier dissemination of information)

Associations should encourage their members to register on BeeBase and to ensure that their contact and apiary details are kept up to date. If an email address is included this will ensure individuals can receive alerts from the NBU when Asian Hornets are sighted in their area

Available literature

The ID sheet and poster can be downloaded from the Asian Hornet pages of BeeBase or ordered from the NBU office.  There is also further useful information available on our resources page.

Monitoring and Trapping        

  • Monitoring traps can be used in the spring or late summer especially around risk points such as ports or areas where nests have occurred previously. A fact sheet on how to make an Asian hornet monitoring trap are available from the Asian hornet pages of BeeBase or see our 'How to make An Asian Hornet Trap' page.
  • It would be very helpful if all beekeepers who use monitoring traps were encouraged to record their use on BeeBase by editing their apiary records.  Log into Beebase, click on 'My apiaries' and select apiary and edit those details. Scroll down to see where to list your monitoring trap information.
  • It is illegal to trap and release an Asian Hornet.

Insurance Issues

The insurance cover that BBKA membership provides is excellent and covers all that beekeepers do in the normal process of beekeeping including swarm collecting. Beekeepers are insured for beekeeping activities including swarm collections

The BBKA has arranged for Registered or Partner members of each branch who are members of the Asian Hornet Action Teams to be covered but they must be recorded on the eR2 membership database and must have completed a short exercise to ensure they have the basic knowledge needed.

BUT they are NOT insured if trespassing or entering areas without the landowners permission and they are NOT insured if involved in trapping and releasing Asian Hornets as this is an illegal activity.

Asian Hornets are an invasive species and sightings must be reported. Members of the public have NO insurance through the BBKA unless participating in beekeeping activities with BBKA members.

Beekeepers involved in tracking hornets or searching for hornet nests in order to protect their bees are not insured if climbing ladders, trees or scaling buildings above the height specified in their BBKA policy concerning swarm collection.  Beekeepers should only be involved in tracking activities directed by the NBU and will not be insured if they are practically involved in Asian Hornet nest destruction, this will be undertaken by specialist Pest Controllers appointed by the NBU.