News story

Asian hornet: Fowey nest destroyed as two new sightings confirmed in Liskeard and Hull

Two more sightings of Asian hornets have been confirmed and surveillance activity is underway.

Asian hornet
Asian hornet

The National Bee Unit has called for the public to report any suspected Asian hornets after two further confirmed sightings in Liskeard, Cornwall and Hull, east Yorkshire. At this stage, there is no evidence to suggest the Cornwall and Hull sightings are linked.

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 and work is already underway to identify any nests in the Liskeard and Hull areas, which includes deploying bee inspectors to visit local beekeepers and setting up monitoring traps. As part of this work, bee inspectors from APHA National Bee Unit are carrying out surveillance and monitoring in a 1-2 km radius around the sightings.

The hornets in Fowey were first discovered earlier in September and the National Bee Unit moved swiftly to find the nest and remove it. During September the number of hornets in a nest can reach a peak and this will increase the chances of seeing an insect.

Nicola Spence, Defra Deputy Director for Plant and Bee Health, said:

These sightings in Liskeard and Hull underline the need to remain vigilant. I want to encourage people to look out for any Asian hornet nests and if you think you’ve spotted one, please report your sighting through the Asian hornet app or online.

While the Asian Hornet poses no greater risk to human health than a bee, we recognise the damage they can cause to honey bee colonies. I am therefore pleased our well-established protocol to contain them has worked so effectively in Fowey.

If you suspect you have seen an Asian hornet you can report this using the iPhone and Android app ‘Asian Hornet Watch’ or by emailing alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk. Identification guides and more information are available.

Background

  • Members of the public can also report sightings by email to alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk with a photo or on the Great Britain Non-native Species Secretariat website.
  • The Great Britain Non-native Species Secretariat is a joint venture between Defra, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government to tackle the threat of invasive species. More information can be found on their website.
  • For details on the appearance of an Asian hornet please can be found on Bee Base guide or the non-native species identification guide.
  • Photographs of the Asian hornet are available on our Flickr account
  • The cost of eradication on private land will be met by APHA.
Published 10 September 2018