We would like to remind all beekeepers of the importance to monitor for the Asian Hornet, as early discovery may be the only opportunity we have of preventing them from becoming a major problem. Details about the Asian Hornet can be obtained at NBU link and there is also information available on an NBU Asian hornet trap . If anyone does spot something suspect, then they should take a photo, or catch one and put it in alcohol or the freezer and report it immediately.
To assist in this process, the PBKA has appointed an Asian Hornet Coordinator, Peter Kirkup, to coordinate information and guidance relating to possible sightings. Peter can be contacted on 07770 883720.
One of our bee inspectors advises that she has spent the best part of September in England chasing Asian hornets and the monitoring going on by the public has been variable. The only chance of preventing them from becoming a huge problem is to stop them early.
This is a link to the NBU Asian hornet trap
Note that Asian hornets are apparently quite hard to ID when they’ve been in a trap for a while, so people need to have a good look.
The most Asian Hornets have been seen on ivy and other forage, picking off flys and other insects (as this is easier than hawking in front of a hive) so if everyone could spend half an hour every so often watching some forage there’s a chance of spotting them if they’re here.
If anyone does spot something suspect then THEY NEED TO TAKE A PHOTO OR CATCH ONE AND PUT IT IN ALCOHOL OR THE FREEZER. The bee unit and non-native species have had over 4000 reports of Asian hornets that are actually something else (one was a cockroach!) people can also download the Asian hornet app, which has ID info and you can report sightings.
The BBC report that sightings of the honey bee-killing Asian hornet have been confirmed in Cornwall and East Yorkshire.
Work is under way to identify any nests in Liskeard and Hull, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said.
The Asian hornet is smaller than the native hornet and poses no risk to human health, but does pose a risk to honey bees.
Inspectors are monitoring areas around the sightings.
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.”
An important article from the BBKA concerning Wasp and Hornet traps.