Friday, 11 April 2014

Reporting suspect sightings of the Asian hornet

Asian Hornet
Asian Hornet


 
Many Beekeepers may be aware that, the Asian hornet, Vespa velutina, is a predator of honey bees and other beneficial insects. It has recently extended its geographical range from Asia to mainland Europe following an accidental introduction to France, and is now also present in Spain, Belgium, Portugal and Italy. Adult hornets are highly mobile; the rate of spread across France is approximately 100 km/year. There is concern that this exotic insect could reach the UK, either by hitching a ride on imported goods or simply by flying across the Channel.

The message to Beekeepers from the NBU is as follows:

• Now is the ideal time of year to look out for emerging queens, who can build new nests;
• Make sure you know how to recognise Asian hornets – a very helpful ID sheet can be downloaded from the NNSS website at http://www.nonnativespecies.org/alerts/index.cfm?id=4
• Know where to report sightings: alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk
• Our best defence against the Asian hornet is to quickly detect any arrivals and prevent them from establishing;
• Trapping is expected to aid this;
• Please visit the Asian hornet pages on BeeBase click here to read updated guidance for beekeepers, including information on early monitoring and trap design. You can also access the full Response Plan through these pages.

Kind regards,

National Bee Unit.
 
The above e-mail was sent to all beekeepers but I think it is important that every one be aware of this as we are a minority and I think the public helping to keep an eye out would be of great help. According to this it has not yet reached the U.K. and I sincerely hope they are right. Whilst looking for a little more info on the Internet I came across a report that states there is a possibility that one was sighted last year and while the report was never confirmed I have included the link below as there is a lot of information that I found interesting and thought you may too. It also has a very good down loadable link to help with identifying the hornet.
 
 
 

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keep it clean...keep it relevant...I look forward to reading your comments!!