Defra destroys Asian hornets

Defra bee inspectors say they have contained an outbreak of Asian hornets in Gloucestershire.

Asian hornets were first discovered in the Tetbury area in September, but the National Bee Unit has now removed a nest.

No further live Asian hornets have been seen since the nest was treated with pesticide and removed in early October.

Two dead Asian hornets were discovered in separate locations close by in north Somerset, but no nests or live hornets have been located by inspectors and there have been no further sightings.

Nicola Spence, Defra deputy director for plant and bee health, said: "I am pleased our well-established protocol to eradicate Asian hornets has worked so effectively. We remain vigilant, however, and will continue to monitor the situation and encourage people to look out for any Asian hornet nests."

As winter sets in, worker Asian hornets will begin to die as they cannot survive in the cold weather.

Defra imposed a three-mile surveillance zone in Gloucestershire and Somerset, with bee inspectors using infrared cameras and traps to track the hornets and the nest. Defra also opened a local control centre to coordinate the response between the various agencies and teams involved.

Asian hornets pose no greater risk to human health than a bee, though they are a threat to honey bee colonies.

The species arrived in France in 2004 and is now common across large areas of Europe. It was discovered for the first time in the British Isles in Jersey and Alderney this summer.

Defra says "it is possible" Asian hornets could reappear in England next year and members of the public are urged to report any suspected sightings in the spring.

Report nests to alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk.


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Needle blights

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Needle blights

Prevalent in wet, humid conditions and particularly on susceptible crops grown under overhead irrigation, tip blights can adversely affect a range of conifer species.

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Wilt

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Wilt

Poor husbandry, physical damage to roots and various diseases can all cause water deficit in leaves and non-woody stems of plants, leading to loss of turgor pressure in cells and flaccid tissues, which can lead to wilting in bedding, pot plants and nursery stock.

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Green manure crops

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Green manure crops

Valuable tools to combat pests and diseases, improve soils and boost nutrient levels.