There have been many questions asked about what happens when an Asian Hornet nest is found.  Here are some answers provided by the NBU.

When a nest is located, who is responsible for culling the nest and who undertakes this?
Trained APHA personnel.

When a nest is located, who is responsible for nest removal and who undertakes this?
Depending on location the nest is removed by APHA personnel or tree climbers hired for this purpose.

What is the purpose of removal?
Nests are removed and analysed in the Fera Science Ltd lab.  Removal also prevents the nest from being repeatedly reported.

What key insights do the lab analyses reveal?
Whether the nests have eggs and other life stages indicating the presence of a queen. Whether the queen is present. Has the nest got to the point of producing sexual stages.  Relatedness to individuals caught around the nests and to other nests.

Do hornets sometimes survive the culling process?
Yes, often during the process hornets vacate the nest.   However, trapping is done around the nest site post destruction to make every effort to remove these individuals. Hornets that haven’t emerged yet and are under the cappings also survive the process but all nests are transported securely with three layers of containment and frozen for 72 hrs on arrival at the lab. This kills all life stages before examination occurs.

Does a risk assessment exist for culling?
Yes, there is a risk assessment.

Does a risk assessment exist for removal?
Due to a myriad of H&S factors removal is risk assessed dynamically for each site.

Does the NBU have plans for peer reviewed studies on Asian/yellow-legged hornet nest architecture?
The science is done by Fera Science Ltd as directed by Defra and to the best of our knowledge articles on nest architecture are not planned.

Does the NBU have any tips for differentiation between Asian/yellow-legged hornet nests and other similar nests?
Yes, see the Asian hornet pages of BeeBase.

Does the NBU have plans for peer reviewed studies on Asian/yellow-legged relatedness in the UK?
Yes, it is anticipated that Fera Science Ltd will produce an article on relatedness from this year’s data as it has done in the past.

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