The British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) is disappointed to hear of the first sighting of the Asian Hornet, a non-native species of hornet that specifically targets and feeds on honeybees. The sighting by a member of the public on a cauliflower in Bury, Lancashire which has since been traced back to Boston, Lincolnshire.

DEFRA have said “Bee Inspectors from APHA National Bee Unit will be carrying out surveillance and monitoring in a 1-2 Km radius around the initial sighting. Additional monitoring and surveillance will be carried out in the Boston area where the cauliflower was grown.”

Beekeepers and members of the public are urged to keep a look out for this hornet that is smaller than the European hornet. Pictures can be found on the BBKA website with information on what to do if you suspect you have seen one.

You can also download the Asian Hornet Watch app for reporting possible sightings, or visit the Asian Hornet Action Team website which has been developed by Devon Beekeepers Association for more information. 

Beekeepers are grateful for the sharp eyes of the member of the public in spotting this one and hope with continued vigilance we can continue to keep this threat to these important pollinators at bay. 

Martin Smith

Public Affairs Director

British Beekeepers Association