Friday, 23 September 2016

Asian hornet has arrived in Britain, government confirms, and could destroy precious resources

The insects wait outside bees’ hives and bites their heads off as they emerge so that they can steal honey
 
Andrew Griffin


Tuesday 20 September 2016

The first Asian hornets have been spotted in Britain and could be about to cause huge damage to bees, one of our most precious resources.

The hornets pose no risk to human health. But they pose a huge risk to the life of honey bees, one of our most precious and threatened natural resources.

Authorities are now launching a plan to find and destroy any nests belonging to the species, in an attempt to wipe them out in the UK.

Honey bees are in decline and are central to the life of many of the crops we use to feed ourselves. But the hornets pose a huge risk to them – waiting outside their hive’s entrance, biting their head off to kill them, getting rid of the entire group and then stealing their honey.

Our own bee colonies haven’t evolved to cope with the threat of attack from the hornets, and so could be at risk from them.

The hornets have long been the subject of worry in the media that the “killer” insects would make their way to British shores. That has now been confirmed after one was spotted in Gloucestershire, the government has said.
 
The hornets have become widespread in central and southern France. For years, authorities have worried that they could arrive in imported plantpots, timber or even flying over themselves.


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