29 September 201

An Asian Hornet nest found after a member of the public spotted one in New Alresford in Hampshire has been found and destroyed and there has been another confirmed sighting at Brockenhurst in Hampshire. 

Meon Valley Beekeepers who have hives in that area have also reporting sightings in Lymington on the coast and said local beekeepers are helping staff from the NBU to track down the nest. They report that the team have drones and thermal imaging equipment as well. 

There are also reported sightings in and around Southampton so if any beekeepers have hives in that area it would be good if they could set out monitoring traps and keep a watch. 

Current situation

Defra said that to date, there have been 9 confirmed sightings of the Asian Hornet in England and five nests have been destroyed. 

7 of these sightings occurred this year and you can find all the locations on the BBKA Asian Hornet Map www.bbka.org.uk/asian-hornet-map

An individual hornet in a cauliflower in Lancashire and one in a house in Hull, three in Cornwall at Fowey and Liskeard and two in Hampshire at New Alresford and Brockenhurst. 

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
  • 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

What beekeepers should be doing

There are a number things we can all do to help...

  1. Make sure your information on BeeBase is up to date, especially your email address and telephone number
  2. If you’re not registered on BeeBase, please register now! It is important that NBU know where your apiaries are and you can be contacted. You can do so at http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/
  3. Take some time to sit in your apiary and watch. If there are hornets about you will see them if you watch for about half an hour.
  4. Also watch local forage, especially ivy flowers and any rotten fruit on the ground. Asian hornets forage on the rotten fruit & predate on the wasps and other insects that are using the fruit and ivy flowers. The Asian hornet in Alresford was found by a member of the public who contacted a beekeeper to say that he was watching some odd looking wasps on the fruit in his orchard.
  5. If you see an Asian hornet – take a photograph. If you have a child’s fishing net they are often easy to catch – don’t squash it but try to keep it intact – say in a lidded jar.
  6. The Asian Hornet Watch app for smartphone users gives quick easy access to reporting.
  7. The NBU is continuing surveillance for further nests, and beekeepers across the UK are urged to remain vigilant and to report any sightings
  8. If you find a nest, don't try to remove it yourself - it can be dangerous and should only be done by experts

Good luck to us all!