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British Beekeepers Association
5th October 2016

New finding of Asian Hornets in Somerset

The National Bee Unit has confirmed a sighting of the Asian hornet north of the Mendip Hills in Somerset. A 3 mile surveillance zone has been set up and a local control centre will be opened.

Asian Hornet Update Number 4 04/10/2016 The following has been received from the National Bee Unit on 04/10/2016. We recommend you give it your close attention and continue to remain on alert for any potential sightings of Asian hornets The National Bee Unit has confirmed a sighting​ of the Asian hornet north of the Mendip Hills in Somerset. The Asian hornet is smaller than our native hornet and poses no greater risk to human health than a bee. However, they do pose a risk to honey bees. Work to identify, destroy and remove any nests is already underway, which will include: ● setting up a three mile surveillance zone around the location of the initial sighting ● opening a local control centre to coordinate the response ● deploying bee inspectors across the area who will use infrared cameras and traps to locate any nests ● readying nest disposal experts who will use pesticides to kill the hornets and destroy any nests Nicola Spence, Defra Deputy Director for Plant and Bee Health, said: “We have been anticipating the arrival of the Asian hornet for some years and are implementing our well-established protocol to eradicate them and control their spread. “It is important to remember they pose no greater risk to human health than a bee, though we recognise the damage they can cause to honey bee colonies. That’s why we are taking swift and robust action to identify and destroy any nests. “We remain vigilant across the country, working closely with the National Bee Unit and their nationwide network of bee inspectors.” The first Asian hornet confirmed in the UK was discovered in the Tetbury area. A nest in the area has since been found, treated with pesticide and destroyed. No further live Asian hornets have been sighted in the area since the nest was removed. Bee inspectors in Somerset will be supported by nest disposal experts who will use an approved pesticide to destroy any hornets and remove any nests. The Asian hornet arrived in France in 2004 and is now common across large areas of Europe. It was discovered for the first time in Jersey and Alderney this summer. ENDS Notes to Editor ● For advice on what to do if you believe you have seen an Asian hornet please go to the non-native species website ● Anyone who believes they have found a nest should not go near it and report it to alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk ● The cost of eradication on private land will be met by APHA ● For details on the appearance of an Asian hornet please can be found on Bee Base guide or the non-native species identification guide Further advice can be found on the National Bee Unit website including the husbandry advice below: ​http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/ Husbandry Advice: It is very important that beekeepers remain vigilant and monitor their apiaries and surrounding forage for any Asian hornet activity. At this time of the year, Asian hornets can be seen foraging on the ivy for nectar and preying on other foraging insects for protein. Traps should also be hung out and closely monitored. When using bait, please refrain from using light beer or larger mixed with sugar as this does not work. In France a Dark beer​, mixed with 25ml of strawberry syrup and 25ml of orange liqueur has proven to work well. Additionally, a protein bait of mashed fish e.g. prawns or trout, diluted to 25% has also proven effective. Anyone wishing to make their own traps may find the following factsheet useful: How to make a homemade Asian hornet monitoring trap. You can also find wasp and hornet traps (Vaso traps) on the BBKA website: https://www.bbka.org.uk/shop/product/wasp-trap/ Please continue to monitor your own apiaries using hornet traps and encourage those whom you know are not registered on our database to sign up. For further information and interviews: Please contact: Diane Roberts BBKA press officer diane.roberts@bbka.org.uk 07841-625797