September 7 2018

An Asian Hornet nest has been found in Fowey in Cornwall and destroyed by bee inspectors.

It was on Friday 31st August a beekeeper in the Fowey area found 2 Asian Hornets in a trap he'd set up near his beehives. They were positively identified by the Non Native Species Secretariat and a surveillance zone was set up on Tuesday (Sept 4). Killing traps and feeding traps with meat and sweet baits were deployed and there was a lot of  hornet activity around them. By timing their visits back to the bait, inspectors from the National Bee Unit were able to track them back to their nest. 

The latest nest found on Jersey ( above ) 

The nest was detected on Thursday (Sept 6) and destroyed in the evening, when the hornets would have returned to the nest, by using CO2 gas to carry an active ingredient called bendiocarb. The nest was removed this morning at 0700. 

It is described as a small nest, about the size of a child's football, and was situated about a metre from the ground in a bramble patch. 

Genetic analysis is being carried out to see if the hornets are from Europe or a new incursion brought in on goods from China for example. 

Genetic tests have shown that the Tetbury and Woolacombe nests in 2017 were two separate incursions from France. 

You can find a map showing all the incidents of Asian Hornet incursion in the UK here 

Trapping advice 

At the moment, Defra is recommending that MONITORING traps are put out by beekeepers in all areas of the country where at the moment we do not think an incursion has occurred. 

Once an Asian Hornet has been positively identified in an area then KILL traps should be used. This is in the expectation that if Asian Hornets are in the area then they will be trapped and identified. 

The by-catch in these traps will be small compared to the damage caused by the Asian Hornets if the nests are not found.