Friday, 11 November 2016

Asian hornet outbreak contained, says Defra

Officials have destroyed an Asian hornet nest in Gloucestershire after the invasive species was spotted there, posing a threat to the UK’s honeybees

Press Association

Friday 4 November 2016 16.36 GMT

An Asian hornet outbreak has been contained, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has said. The first sightings of the pest in the mainland UK were reported in Tetbury, Gloucestershire, in September.

Inspectors from the National Bee Unit destroyed the nest and although two dead hornets were found in North Somerset no further sightings have been reported.

Nicola Spence,Defra’s 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.”

Asian hornets are a predator of honey bee colonies and other insects. The Asian hornet is now common across Europe after being introduced in error to France in 2004 in a shipment of pottery from China.

In the summer, the hornet was discovered in the Channel Islands of Jersey and Alderney for the first time.

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


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