Asian hornet

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03/01/2018 09:53 AM
An Update on the Asian Hornet Outbreak in Woolacombe and Information about the Tetbury Nest Analysis
Please note that in order to see some of the content, you may need to temporarily turn off your pop-up blocker.

Please click the following blue link to view an image of an Asian hornet sighting in Woolacombe hawking in front of beehives . Image courtesy of Martyn Hocking.

Following suspect sightings, on Sunday 24th September the NBU received two photographs from a beekeeper in Woolacombe, North Devon, of an Asian hornet. The following day, the 25th September, preliminary surveillance began in the apiary and the NBU's Contingency Plan was activated. The local Bee Inspector monitored the apiary and initially found surveillance difficult due to the position of the colonies in the apiary. However, that morning, the Inspector managed to capture a hornet and sent the sample to the NBU in Sand Hutton for formal identification. Later that afternoon, the Inspector returned to the apiary site and a further 7 hornets were seen hawking in front of hives, but no line of sight could be ascertained, to establish a flight path back to the nest.

On the 26th September, South West Region inspectors were deployed to intensify searches for Asian hornets hawking in the area. Wet, misty and murky morning weather conditions were not ideal, but the Inspectors continued to survey the original outbreak apiary and two lines of sight were established. Inspectors were able to identify a second apiary site about 1km from the original outbreak, where one hornet was seen hawking for returning foraging bees. A hornet sample was taken, in order to establish if the hornets visiting the second apiary site were from the same nest and thus determine if there were multiple nests in the area.

Hornets were also observed in an apiary at a further site and were seen flying in a similar line of sight. The lines of sight from both the outbreak apiary and the second apiary combined were enough for an initial triangulation to be taken and investigated. The Inspectors began investigating public footpaths and the area around where the lines of sight met at the triangulation. A great deal of Asian hornet activity was observed at a nearby building site and on 27th September an Asian hornet nest was discovered.

The nest was destroyed the following evening, removed and taken to the Fera lab (Sand Hutton, York) on Friday 29th Sept. Further surveillance was carried out within a 10 km zone of the nest site and no further Asian hornet activity was detected. Following analysis of the nest has shown that none of the adult hornets were male and this indicates that the nest was detected and removed before the production of queens which will have gone into winter and then produced nests in 2018.

Additionally, if you are interested in finding out more details of the Tetbury outbreak in 2016, including genetic analysis of the hornets origin, this can be found in the PLoS One publication: Budge GE, Hodgetts J, Jones EP, Ostoja Starzewski JC, Hall J, Tomkies V, et al. (2017) The invasion, provenance and diversity of Vespa velutina Lepeletier (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) in Great Britain. PLoS ONE 12(9): e0185172. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0185172.

A separate document is available to view the Welsh Version of Asian Hornet Update in Woolacombe

22/12/2017 11:59 PM
[News] National Bee Unit confirms Woolacombe nest removed before Asian Hornet Queens formed

Following suspect sightings, on Sunday 24th September the NBU received two photographs from a beekeeper in Woolacombe, North Devon, of an Asian hornet. The following day, the 25th September, preliminary surveillance began in the apiary and the NBU's Contingency Plan was activated. The local Bee Inspector monitored the apiary and initially found surveillance difficult due to the position of the colonies in the apiary. However, that morning, the Inspector managed to capture a hornet and sent the sample to the NBU in Sand Hutton for formal identification. Later that afternoon, the Inspector returned to the apiary site and a further 7 hornets were seen hawking in front of hives, but no line of sight could be ascertained, to establish a flight path back to the nest.

On the 26th September, South West Region inspectors were deployed to intensify searches for Asian hornets hawking in the area. Wet, misty and murky morning weather conditions were not ideal, but the Inspectors continued to survey the original outbreak apiary and two lines of sight were established. Inspectors were able to identify a second apiary site about 1km from the original outbreak, where one hornet was seen hawking for returning foraging bees. A hornet sample was taken, in order to establish if the hornets visiting the second apiary site were from the same nest and thus determine if there were multiple nests in the area.

Hornets were also observed in an apiary at a further site and were seen flying in a similar line of sight. The lines of sight from both the outbreak apiary and the second apiary combined were enough for an initial triangulation to be taken and investigated. The Inspectors began investigating public footpaths and the area around where the lines of sight met at the triangulation. A great deal of Asian hornet activity was observed at a nearby building site and on 27th September an Asian hornet nest was discovered.

The nest was destroyed the following evening, removed and taken to the Fera lab (Sand Hutton, York) on Friday 29th Sept. Further surveillance was carried out within a 10 km zone of the nest site and no further Asian hornet activity was detected. Following analysis of the nest has shown that none of the adult hornets were male and this indicates that the nest was detected and removed before the production of queens which will have gone into winter and then produced nests in 2018.

Additionally, if you are interested in finding out more details of the Tetbury outbreak in 2016, including genetic analysis of the hornets origin, this can be found in the PLoS One publication: Budge GE, Hodgetts J, Jones EP, Ostoja Starzewski JC, Hall J, Tomkies V, et al. (2017) The invasion, provenance and diversity of Vespa velutina Lepeletier (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) in Great Britain. PLoS ONE 12(9): e0185172. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0185172.

-ends-


27/10/2017 11:59 PM
[News] New show trailer offer for Associations

Dear Members, 

The weather is getting wetter and the nights are certainly drawing in.  I have not been able to get into my bees for over two weeks and with the forecast it may be another two weeks before I can give them their final check before winter really sets in. 

 

BBKA HQ

So, what is happening at BBKA? Well, the building work has well and truly started.

 As you can see, it has opened the space out considerably, there is a wall to be built but you get the general picture, all the staff are now temporarily working from the board room and kitchen  upstairs, so if there are delays in answering any requests please bear with them. 

As we approach the year end, we will have to take stock of all that we have of value.  It is our intention to start a new and effective stock control system from the beginning of the new financial year. We should be able to start with the numbers that we have to produce for the accountants.  This will make life easier as we will include minimum stock dates so that we can re-order effectively before the stock runs out. 

 

Asian Hornets 

By now, you should all know that there has been a sighting of Asian Hornets in Woolacombe in Devon.  We know that every available inspector has been working on this and they have found and destroyed the nest. Hopefully they managed to do this before the new queens have left home to hide somewhere over winter. 

We have had an offer from Nigel Semmence from DEFRA to come to the Stoneleigh Office to train staff and trustees about the Asian hornet. What exactly to look for and how to identify and who to report to.  That will help if any members think they have a sighting and are not sure what to do. 

DEFRA have released a mobile phone App to help people correctly identify the Asian Hornet, the App is free from both the Apple and Android App store and works on all suitable smart phones.  

Apparently the nest for the Asian Hornet in Jersey was found in a shed, so they are not necessarily up in the tree tops. 

More information here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-app-to-report-asian-hornet-sightings

 

Apimondia Convention – Istanbul, Turkey.

Whilst Margaret Murdin and John Hendrie were at the Apimondia Convention, they entered our own BBKA News and all the Special Issue Booklets into the World Beekeeping Awards competition, sadly it was not a winner as the judges went for more scientific journals.  But at least we tried. 

It is nice to note that a BBKA judge (Margaret Davis) was in charge of all the judging at the World Beekeeping Awards at Apimondia. 

More details at: http://www.apimondia2017.org/default.asp

 

New BBKA Schools Scheme

We have just been told that Calderstones School which was first to get the Junior Certificates in the new School Scheme has been shortlisted for Eco School of the Year in the North West - this is based on the wildflower meadow and presumably the beekeeping. Here's the article from Educate Magazine showing the shortlists: 

http://www.educatemagazine.com/schools-react-educate-awards-shortlist/

 

National Honey Show

We will have a stand at the National Honey Show and the initial run of ‘How to’ laminated leaflets will be available; the first one is on a Bailey Comb Change, kindly written by Wendy Maslin. You will be able to take it with you to the Apiary without the fear of it being damaged by weather or bees’.

We also have a new BBKA News Special Issues booklet out, which should also be available at the stand.  It’s called Flower Families for Forage, by Celia Davis, Master Beekeeper, NDB.   It will be £3 from the BBKA stand at the NHS and £4 (inc P&P) afterwards from the BBKA shop.

Visitors to the BBKA stand at the NHS will also be able to get an early view of the new BBKA website. There has been a lot of work put into this especially by the office staff and George Brown and we do hope you like the results of all their labours. 

The Northern counties are looking to work together in a similar way that the South West counties do, this is still work in progress, but it looks good. 

We have some interesting meetings scheduled with companies who want to be involved in promoting bees and beekeeping. These will happen in the next few weeks, so when we have some positive news resulting from the meetings we will let you know. 

Show trailer 

The Shows committee held a meeting recently and we are still looking at providing a ‘Trailer’ which can travel to any Association which may want to use it for their show. One option might be a self-contained unit with a drop down walk-in front and ‘wings’ that open out with display boards. Hopefully it will hold the Hive Experience and all the equipment you will need for a show. It would be good if Associations would let us know if there is any interest in using this - after all, the whole idea is to support you as major stakeholders in achieving our Charitable Objectives.

Margaret Wilson 


23/10/2017 11:59 PM
[News] "Depressingly small" honey crop from British Beekeepers

The two most productive regions in England continue to be the South East, producing 30.1 lbs of honey and the East with 29.3 lbs of honey per hive, while those areas which suffered a particularly wet summer, Wales and the South West, both saw their honey crop drop to 18 lbs per hive.

Britain differs from the rest of Europe in that most of its beekeeping is carried out by amateur beekeepers, whereas in much of the rest of Europe it is carried out by bee farmers. In common with the EU as whole,  Britain does not produce enough honey to meet demand. 

“A honey crop of fifty to a hundred pounds was typical when I started beekeeping in the 1950’s,” said Job Hobrough who was recently awarded his BBKA certificate for sixty years of beekeeping and is the BBKA’s Adopt a Beehive representative for the North East region. 

He continues:

“In those days farmers under-planted crops with clover to nourish the land, nowadays there just isn’t time or space for this style of farming. I think it is having a huge impact on the honey crop, by reducing the forage available not just to honey bees, but all our insects.  

“I warn new beekeepers not to expect a big crop of honey, and to be fair many people aren’t in it nowadays for the honey.”

While weather conditions will always cause variations in the honey crop, for example the cold winter of 2014 saw the honey crop drop to just 8lb a colony, it is the steady overall decline in quantity which is worrying.  

The top five factors worrying beekeepers about the future of the honey bees are:

Margaret Murdin, BBKA Chairman, concludes:

“Everyone can play a part in helping honey bees and all the other insects they love such as butterflies and bumble bees by planting the right sort of flowers and shrubs. Check the label to see that anything you plant will be rich in nectar and pollen, as not all plants are equal in this respect. A crocus is so much better for bees than a daffodil, for example. 

“Our survey shows that suburban gardens and urban roof tops produce some of the best honey crops, so how we garden really can make a difference.”                         -ends-       


18/10/2017 11:59 PM
[News] British Beekeepers are Losing Fewer Bees over Winter

The overall trend continues to show a welcome decline in the number of colony losses. Respondents gave a variety of reasons why they believe their colonies failed and these included various aspects of queen failure, starvation, lack of forage and cold weather restricting foraging activities and forage availability. Regional analysis showed the highest regional losses were seen in the North East at 23% and the lowest in the Eastern region at 9.7%. This reverses the regional pattern of 2016 which showed higher losses in the South of the country. It is unclear what is driving these regional variations BBKA Director of Communications, Martin Smith, said: “One of the key drivers of success in overwintering honey bees is the level of competence of individual beekeepers. The BBKA and its member associations have worked hard to provide educational resources, training courses and other materials to allow beekeepers to improve their husbandry skills. This in turn enables them to maintain healthy bee colonies, despite the various threats to their survival.” The above data preceded the arrival of the Asian Hornet into the UK and this aspect will also be monitored in the 2018 survey in the light of the development of the Asian Hornet invasion. Notes​ ​to​ ​Editors Importance​ ​of​ ​winter​ ​losses of​ ​honey​ ​bees The honey bee is the only bee to maintain a colony throughout the winter. The colony reduces its size in autumn and relies on its stores of honey to last it through the winter months when it is too cold for foraging or there is no forage available. The loss of honey bee colonies impacts the available pollination resources as well as reducing honey crops, so it is essential that beekeepers rebuild stocks. This is done by ‘splitting’ colonies and building honey bee numbers back up to strength over the season. So if, for example, a beekeeper takes 10 hives into the winter but loses two colonies by the spring, a further two colonies must be ‘split’ to get back up to 10 colonies by the end of the season. The net effect being that the beekeeper has effectively only 6 hives running at full strength during that season. Experienced beekeepers keeping bees in good conditions are able to increase the number of colonies highlighting the importance of beekeepers in managing and growing honey bee colony numbers. Honey​ ​bee​ ​survival In winter, worker bees can live for up to five or six months, But in the summer, worker bees only live for around six weeks having to work much harder foraging. Honey bee queens live for three to four years but cannot survive without worker bees. In some other species of bees or wasps only the queen survives by hibernating through the winter months. About​ ​the​ ​BBKA With around 25,000 members the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) is the leading organisation supporting honey bees and beekeepers within the UK. It aims to promote and further the craft of beekeeping and to advance the education of the public in the importance of bees in the environment. For further details: Please contact Diane Roberts, press officer, BBKA: 07841-625797 16​ ​October​ ​2017


17/10/2017 09:53 AM
Asian hornet nest in Woolacombe destroyed
A recent outbreak of Asian hornets has been successfully contained by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) Inspectorate who promptly tracked down and destroyed the nest in Devon.

The hornets were first discovered in the Woolacombe area in September and work to track down and destroy the nest included a two mile surveillance zone in Devon, with National Bee Unit Bee Inspectors using line of sight to triangulate the location of the nest. The contingency plan was set in motion, which included opening a disease control center to coordinate the response between the various teams involved.

Since the destruction and removal of the nest, no further Asian hornets have been seen in the area, but it is possible Asian hornets could reappear in the UK and beekeepers, along with members of the public are urged to report any suspected sightings through the routes outlined in the Defra press release.

For more details about the Asian hornet, please visit the detailed pages on BeeBase.



04/10/2017 09:53 AM
Asian Hornet Identified in North Devon
Please be aware that we are experiencing a high volume of calls so please use the below guidance for all enquiries relating to Asian hornet sightings.


The National Bee Unit has confirmed a sighting of the Asian hornet in North Devon which was spotted by a beekeeper in their apiary on the 18th September 2017. The contingency response has been initiated and a press release has been issued by Defra.

Beekeepers within the area of the outbreak will be contacted by Bee Inspectors in order to carry out apiary inspections and to hang out traps and we ask for full your co-operation during these visits.

About the Asian hornet

The Asian hornet is smaller than our native hornet and poses no greater risk to human health than a bee. However, they do pose a risk to honey bees.

Work to identify, destroy and remove any nests is already underway, which includes:

• opening a local control center to coordinate the response;

• deploying bee inspectors across the area, and;

• readying nest disposal experts who will use pesticides to kill the hornets and destroy any nests.

Further guidance on the Asian hornet can be found on the Asian hornet pages of BeeBase where you will find a very useful Asian hornet ID sheet and Asian hornet poster which is available for identification purposes.

Our best defence against the Asian hornet is to quickly detect any arrivals and prevent them from establishing and traps are the best way to help aid detection. When monitoring for the hornet, please use both sweet and protein based baits in separate traps as the nest may still be expanding and requiring protein to feed it’s young. We have designed A simple monitoring trap for the Asian hornet and an Asian hornet trap making video to help assist you in doing this.

You can now report sightings with your smart phone or tablet, by using the ‘Asian hornet Watch’ app for Androids and iOS. The app also uses GPS which allows the user to submit the exact location of their finding, allowing any confirmed sightings to be followed up quickly and efficiently.

Alternatively, you can submit your sighting by email. When doing so, please include as much information as possible, including where you saw the sighting, name, contact number/ address and if possible an image. Send your sightings to:

alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk

All records received are reviewed by entomologists at Centre of Ecology and Hydrology and credible records passed on to us at the NBU for further investigation.

Finally you can also use the online recording form which can be found at

http://www.brc.ac.uk/risc/alert.php?species=asian_hornet

Please could all media enquiries be directed to the Defra press Office: 0208 225 7510

We thank you in advance for your co-operation.



28/09/2017 11:59 PM
[News] Asian Hornet nest found in North Devon

The nest will then be removed and sent for analysis at a government laboratory. This follows the first confirmed sighting of an Asian Hornet on the UK mainland in 2017 two days ago in that area. A beekeeper near Woolacombe in North Devon saw an Asian Hornet hawking in front of his hives and also gathering nectar from ivy. Beekeepers in the area need to remain vigilant in case secondary nests have been established. Bee inspectors who found the nest will continue their surveillance of the area. Any sightings should be reported through the Asian Hornet Watch app or sent to the non-native species alert email address: alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk -ends-


26/09/2017 11:59 PM
[News] First Asian Hornet confirmed on UK mainland in North Devon

26​ ​September​ ​2017 The​ ​first​ ​confirmed​ ​sighting​ ​of​ ​an​ ​Asian​ ​Hornet​ ​on​ ​the​ ​UK​ ​mainland​ ​in​ ​2017​ ​is in​ ​North​ ​Devon. A beekeeper near Woolacombe in North Devon saw an Asian Hornet hawking in front of his hives and also gathering nectar from ivy. The beekeeper submitted his evidence to the National Beekeeping Unit (NBU) and they have confirmed that it is an Asian Hornet. Inspectors from the NBU are now on their way to Devon to back up local colleagues in the urgent task of tracking down the nest. All beekeepers in the area are advised to check their own hives and look out for any signs of Asian Hornets nesting. Recent finds on the Channel Islands suggest that they not only place their nests at height in trees but also use a quiet spot in a garden shed from time to time to build their living spaces. -ends-


29/08/2017 09:53 AM
Autumn Management

As we approach the autumn season, you may be planning what to do in order to successfully over winter your colonies. Remember the start of the 2018 beekeeping year begins now and anything you do or do not do to your colonies will have repercussions on their ability to overwinter successfully, and on their subsequent performance in the following year. To help you out, we’ve put together a checklist of tasks to carry out before you ‘put your bees to bed’ for winter.

Good quality stocks of bees

Colonies which have poorly performed during the season e.g. the queen has had a bad laying pattern, or any colonies which are headed by queens older than say two years should ideally be replaced by a good quality and newly mated queen. This will set the colony in good stead for next year as young queens are more prolific and produce a strong population of honey bees necessary for the colony to successfully overwinter. Younger queens are also unlikely to be superseded in the spring at a time when the colony is more vulnerable and if the older queen is killed, it is unlikely that a replacement queen will be available to keep the colony going.

If, in the following year you wish to use any of the older queens for breeding purposes and want to graft from her young larvae, then removing her from the main colony and over-wintering her in a nuc will increase the likelihood of her surviving into the following spring.

At the beginning of the “Healthy Bees Plan” a series of Best Practice Factsheets were produced, and we think it’s an opportune time to dig the one out about “Obtaining Honey Bees” as a reminder of the sound advice it contains The fact sheet, along with all of the others can be found here.

When buying bees:


08/08/2017 11:59 PM
[News] Asian Hornet will colonise UK in two decades

Researchers looked at what has been happening in France and said that the detection methods used there are only finding 48% of Asian Hornet nests. 

It suggests that individual radio tracking of hornets back to their nests and infra red cameras fitted to drones may be necessary to improve detection. 

You can read the press release from University of Warwick here: 

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/asian_hornet_to

Nature's Scientific Reports piece is here: 

go.nature.com/2wpXMiT


12/04/2017 11:59 PM
[News] Two live Asian Hornets found on Channel Islands

The islands’ chief entomologist, John Pinel told the Jersey Evening Post that the first hornet was likely to have arrived in Jersey last year after flying over from France.

As only fertilised Queens survive the winter in hibernation, both the trapped hornets are likely to be Queens looking for supplies to begin setting up a new nest. More traps are now being set up on the island.

We have just had confirmation that the Asian Hornet found at the warehouse distribution centre in the midbelt of Scotland was also alive when found.

It’s clear that beekeepers must remain vigilant and put up traps especially in the areas of Gloucestershire and Somerset where Asian Hornets were found last year.

The free UK government smartphone app Asian Hornet Watch records a GPS location for any reported sighting and makes sure that the relevant bee inspectors are informed.

The British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) is asking all beekeepers to report any findings not just on the official app but also to tell their local associations so they can be properly prepared.

The Asian hornet is darker in appearance than their European counterparts and poses a serious threat to the honeybee population. -endsNotes to Editor There are 76 local associations in the BBKA representing 25,000 members

For further information and interviews: Please contact: Diane Roberts BBKA press officer diane.roberts@bbka.org.uk 07841-625797


29/03/2017 09:53 AM
Asian hornet monitoring trap making video
The National Bee Unit is proud to announce that a video which outlines how to make our Asian hornet monitoring trap is now available on Youtube to view:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CR6MUekAjMo&t=2s

This aims to complement our trap making Fact Sheet titled: A simple Asian hornet monitoring trap .

We hope that you find it informative and useful.

Kind regards,

National Bee Unit

28/03/2017 11:59 PM
[News] New app to report Asian Hornet sightings

27 March 2017

New app to report Asian hornet sightings

The nation’s smartphones are the latest weapon in the fight to prevent the spread of the Asian hornet, thanks to a new app which has been launched today.

People will be able to use the free app - called Asian hornet watch - to quickly and easily report possible sightings of the invasive species and send pictures of suspect insects to experts at the National Bee Unit.

While Asian hornets pose no greater risk to human health than a bee, they are a threat to our native honey bees, which is why it is important to quickly contain them.

By using the eyes and ears of smartphone users, we can more quickly identify any Asian hornet nests in the UK and eradicate them before they have the opportunity to spread.

Biosecurity Minister Lord Gardiner said:

“This innovative new app is designed to be easy to use and allows people to report quickly any possible sightings of Asian hornets, which will help us to halt their spread.

“This invasive species poses a threat to our native honey bees and we must do all we can to encourage vigilance - this new technology will advance this.” 

The interactive app, developed by the Great Britain Non-native Species Secretariat and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, will also make it easier for people to judge whether an insect may actually be an Asian hornet; with pictures available of other insects that it could be confused with and helpful information about their size, appearance and the times of year they are most likely to be spotted.

 

If there is a sighting of the Asian hornet, the government’s well established protocol for eradicating the species will kick quickly into action: This was the case in Gloucestershire last Autumn, when bee inspectors rapidly tracked down and destroyed an Asian hornet nest, containing any further outbreak:https://www.gov.uk/government/news/asian-hornet-outbreak-contained-in-gloucestershire-and-somerset

There are fears the pest could reappear this spring, so members of the public are being urged to report any sightings quickly to again allow inspectors to intervene. Asian hornets can be distinguished from their native counterparts by their abdomens, which are entirely dark except for a single band of yellow – native hornets’ abdomens are predominantly yellow.

Martin Smith, Public Affairs Manager at the British Beekeepers’ Association, said:

"This new app launched today by Defra is a welcome addition to current reporting methods that have enabled beekeepers and members of the public to report possible sightings. The key to containment is catching outbreaks as early as possible and allowing fast tracking of the insects back to their nest. We will certainly be encouraging all our 25,000 beekeepers to install the app and use it if they see what might be an Asian hornet near their hives." 

Asian hornets arrived in France in 2004 and have since spread across large areas of Western Europe. It was discovered for the first time in the British Isles in Jersey and Alderney last summer.

The native European hornet is a valued and important part of our wildlife, and queens and nests of this species should not be destroyed.

 

Notes to editors

1.    The ‘Asian hornet watch’ app will be available to download from the Apple and Android app stores.

 

2.    Android users: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.ac.ceh.hornets / iOS users:https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/asian-hornet-watch/id1161238813

 

3.    The Great Britain Non-native Species Secretariat is a joint venture between Defra, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government to tackle the threat of invasive species. More information can be found on their website http://www.nonnativespecies.org/home/index.cfm

4.    Members of the public can also report sightings by email to alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk with a photo or on the Non-native Species Secretariat website.


27/03/2017 11:59 PM
[News] Tell local Beekeepers if you find Asian Hornet

Asian Hornet Watch is designed to give you high quality reference pictures and use the GPS on your phone to record exactly where your photo was taken. It will be sent straight to the team that is working to identify the hornets as quickly as possible. It is available as a free download from today for both android and IOS phones. 

 

The BBKA will be encouraging all beekeepers to use the app but to also tell their local groups if they find something. 

 

When the two Asian hornets were confirmed in the Gloucerstershire and Somerset areas last summer there was very little information given to beekeepers. Even those within a few miles were alerted but not given the precise location. Given the fact that Asian hornets target honeybees and can quickly devastate a colony of honeybees, we need information in order to take defensive actions. 

 

Ivor Davis, Public Affairs Manager for the BBKA, said: “The app is great news but we must make sure that this year beekeepers are better informed. If they make a report on it their local branches should also be told by the beekeeper and should then alert every member about the find.” 

 

Adopt a Beehive beekeeper Jules Moore at Mumbleys Farm has hives in the area where the first hornet was found. That led to an enormous hornet nest high up in a tree in a local garden which was destroyed. She says the new app will be helpful: “Like all beekeepers in Gloucestershire we’re very keen for everyone including beekeepers to look out for the Asian Hornet. 

 

“This app is a great idea as it creates both an instant record and also means people won’t perhaps instantly try to kill or touch the wrong sort of insect. Correct identification seems crucial to me.”

 

-ends-

 

 

 

Notes to Editor

If you suspect you have seen an Asian hornet you can also report it using the alert email address: alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk with a location (and photo if possible).  

The Government has an ID sheet and Alert Poster, which are available here:

http://www.nonnativespecies.org//downloadDocument.cfm?id=872

http://www.nonnativespecies.org//downloadDocument.cfm?id=646

If you want hard/laminated copies of the ID sheet or poster, please contact the GB Non-native Species Secretariat: nnss@apha.gsi.gov.uk including the numbers you would like. 

 

 

For further information and interviews: 

 

Please contact: Diane Roberts BBKA press officer 

diane.roberts@bbka.org.uk

07841-625797


24/03/2017 09:53 AM
Non Native Invasive Species Week
Monday saw the launch of a new smartphone app 'Asian hornet watch' which is aimed to help members of the public to identify and report sightings of the Asian hornet. People will be able to use the free app to quickly and easily report possible sightings of the invasive species and send pictures of suspect insects to experts at the Centre of Ecology and Hydrology, Nonative Species Secretariat and National Bee Unit.

The Asian hornet, aka, the yellow legged hornet are a huge threat to our native honey bees, which is why it is important for us to remain vigilant.

Biosecurity Minister Lord Gardiner said:
“This innovative new app is designed to be easy to use and allows people to report quickly any possible sightings of Asian hornets, which will help us to halt their spread".

“This invasive species poses a threat to our native honey bees and we must do all we can to encourage vigilance - this new technology will advance this.”

The interactive app, developed by the Great Britain Non-native Species Secretariat and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, will also make it easier for people to judge whether an insect may actually be an Asian hornet; with pictures available of other insects that it could be confused with and helpful information about their size, appearance and the times of year they are most likely to be spotted.

If there is a sighting of the Asian hornet, the government’s well established protocol for eradicating the species will kick quickly into action: This was the case in Gloucestershire last Autumn, when bee inspectors rapidly tracked down and destroyed an Asian hornet nest, containing any further outbreak: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/asian-hornet-outbreak-contained-in-gloucestershire-and-somerset

Additional information on the hornet is available from our website: 

http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageid=208

where you will find an ID sheet, poster and information on additional routes to report any suspect sightings. 

For more information on the Non Native Invasive Species week visit the Non native Species Secretariat website: http://www.nonnativespecies.org//index.cfm?sectionid=132


22/03/2017 11:59 PM
[News] Defra says Be Vigilant about Asian Hornets

The discovery of an Asian hornet at a supermarket distribution centre in Scotland reinforces the need for vigilance for this invasive pest.  The outbreak in Gloucestershire last autumn was contained by the Government’s quick response and speedy reporting by the public.  We can only keep this pest from establishing in the UK if we have rapid reporting of any findings and the assistance of the public and stakeholders is vital for this. Early interception and reporting are key.

Now is the time when Asian hornet queens start to emerge from hibernation and we need to intercept them before they start to build their nests.

If you suspect you have seen an Asian hornet please report this to us straight away using the alert email address: alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk with a location (and photo if possible). 

We will soon be announcing new technology to allow people to report sightings of Asian hornets more easily and accurately on their mobile phones.

We have an ID sheet and Alert Poster, which are available here:

http://www.nonnativespecies.org//downloadDocument.cfm?id=872

http://www.nonnativespecies.org//downloadDocument.cfm?id=646

If you want hard/laminated copies of the ID sheet or poster, please contact the GB Non-native Species Secretariat: nnss@apha.gsi.gov.uk including the numbers you would like and we will send them to you.


17/03/2017 11:59 PM
[News] Asian Hornet found in Scotland

Traps have been set and the pest control industry and beekeepers have been advised to be alert. All club apiaries in Scotland are being sent official traps to catch Asian Hornets.

 

The Asian hornet is smaller than our native hornet and poses no greater risk to human health than a bee. However, they do pose a risk to honey bees.

 

 

The first Asian hornet confirmed in the UK was discovered in the Tetbury area iin October last year. A nest in the area was found and destroyed. No further live Asian hornets have been sighted in the area since the nest was removed.

 

The Asian hornet arrived in France in 2004 and is now common across large areas of Europe. It was discovered for the first time in Jersey and Alderney last summer.

 

ENDS

 

Notes to Editor

 

Further advice can be found on the National Bee Unit website including the husbandry advice below: http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/




Husbandry Advice:

 

It is very important that beekeepers remain vigilant and monitor their apiaries and surrounding forage for any Asian hornet activity. At this time of the year, Asian hornets can be seen foraging on the ivy for nectar and preying on other foraging insects for protein.

 

Traps should also be hung out and closely monitored. When using bait, please refrain from using light beer or larger mixed with sugar as this does not work. In France a Dark beer, mixed with 25ml of strawberry syrup and 25ml of orange liqueur has proven to work well.

 

Additionally, a protein bait of mashed fish e.g. prawns or trout, diluted to 25% has also proven effective. Anyone wishing to make their own traps may find the following factsheet useful: How to make a homemade Asian hornet monitoring trap.

 

You can also find wasp and hornet traps (Vaso traps) on the BBKA website: http://www.bbka.org.uk/shop/product/wasp-trap/

 

Please continue to monitor your own apiaries using hornet traps and encourage those whom you know are not registered on our database to sign up.



For further information and interviews:

 

Please contact: Diane Roberts BBKA press officer

diane.roberts@bbka.org.uk

07841-625797


18/01/2017 09:53 AM
Asian hornet in the UK: Update and Request for Heightened Vigilance.
Dear Beekeepers,


As you are aware, Vespa velutina nigrothorax, the yellow-legged hornet (a.k.a the Asian hornet) was found in the UK last season. The first European incursion of this hornet was reported in France in 2004. The Asian hornet has since spread around 80-100 km per year, invading Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany and Belgium. Adult hornets are voracious predators of honey bees and other beneficial insects, resulting in colony losses in France. In September 2016, foraging Asian hornets were reported near Tetbury in Gloucestershire, and a trapped individual was reported from Somerset. The nest near Tetbury was found and destroyed by National Bee Unit Inspectors and members of the Wildlife team in the Animal and Plant Health Agency. Despite extensive field inspections, no further foraging Asian hornets were sighted in Somerset. Whilst this is good news, the ability of the Asian hornet to spread rapidly means that we must remain vigilant and aware of any possible activity across a wide area and with spring fast approaching, there is an opportunity for us all to monitor and trap any potential foundress queens.

In spring, surviving V. velutina queens begin a small primary nest, often in a sheltered location such as in the eaves of a roof or in a garden shed. Here they raise the first clutch of workers who take over the queen’s foraging duties. At this stage the nest grows quickly, and the hornets often move to establish a secondary nest where there is more space to expand. These nests can become very large, and are often located high up in the tree canopy, close to a food source such as apiaries, (see images on BeeBase for further details).

From late September to October, the mature nest produces males and then virgin queens, which mate and disperse. However, the beginning of this stage of nest reproduction can vary, depending on climatic conditions. In France, a single mature nest produces on average 11 foundress queens after taking into account overwintering mortality of the potentially hundreds of queens that first disperse in autumn.

A consortium of scientists from the NBU and the Universities of Warwick and Newcastle have used data on the spread of the Asian hornet in France to develop a mathematical model that can estimate the hornet spread in the UK. The highly mobile nature of the hornet means that the range of possible additional nest locations in 2016, estimated using the model, covers a wide area, see Figure 1 for details.

Figure 1 Map showing the potential spread of Asian hornet in 2016 using a mathematical model based on Franklin et al. 2016 (In Press). The dark orange squares represent the locations of Asian hornet discoveries in Tetbury and Somerset. The yellow area defines a boundary, outside of which we would not expect, according to the model, to find a nest.

In the spring, Asian hornets can be trapped by using either commercial traps, which are available off the shelf or a home-made model e.g. by using the NBU modified hornet monitoring trap. If we know they are present in an area we can take action quickly to prevent populations expanding.

There is a helpful Asian hornet identification sheet and poster on Beebase along with a fact sheet which outlines how to make our own NBU design, and, what baits would be suitable during the different seasons of the year. See: http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageid=208

Should you find a suspect Asian hornet or nest, please contact the Non Native Species Secretariat immediately using their alert email address:

alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk

Give as much information as possible. Please include details such as your name, the location where the hornet was found and if possible an image of the specimen. Please do not put yourself in any danger of getting stung when trying to take a photo. Even if you are unsure of whether it is an Asian hornet, send it in anyway – it’s better to be safe than sorry.

We thank you in advance for your co-operation and vigilance.

Kind regards,
National Bee Unit

07/11/2016 11:59 PM
[News] Asian Hornet outbreak contained says DEFRA
Asian hornet outbreak contained in Gloucestershire and Somerset
 
An outbreak of Asian hornets has been successfully contained by bee inspectors who promptly tracked down and destroyed their nest in Gloucestershire.
 
Asian hornets were first discovered in the Tetbury area in September, but the National Bee Unit moved swiftly to find the nest and remove it.
 
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. However Defra remains vigilant, working closely with the National Bee Unit and their nationwide network of bee inspectors, as well as partners APHA and Fera.
 
Defra’s success in locating the Asian hornet nest was thanks to its close working relationship with the National Bee Unit and the execution of the department’s well-established plan. This included imposing a three mile surveillance zone in Gloucestershire and Somerset, with bee inspectors scouring the area, 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, which is why Defra took quick action to identify and destroy the nest.
 
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. Asian hornets can be confused with their larger native European hornet counterparts; the Asian hornet abdomen is almost entirely dark while the European hornet’s abdomen is largely yellow.
 
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.
 
ENDS
 
Notes to Editor

 


05/10/2016 12:59 AM
[News] New finding of Asian Hornets in Somerset

Asian Hornet Update Number 4 04/10/2016 The following has been received from the National Bee Unit on 04/10/2016. We recommend you give it your close attention and continue to remain on alert for any potential sightings of Asian hornets The National Bee Unit has confirmed a sighting​ of the Asian hornet north of the Mendip Hills in Somerset. The Asian hornet is smaller than our native hornet and poses no greater risk to human health than a bee. However, they do pose a risk to honey bees. Work to identify, destroy and remove any nests is already underway, which will include: ● setting up a three mile surveillance zone around the location of the initial sighting ● opening a local control centre to coordinate the response ● deploying bee inspectors across the area who will use infrared cameras and traps to locate any nests ● readying nest disposal experts who will use pesticides to kill the hornets and destroy any nests Nicola Spence, Defra Deputy Director for Plant and Bee Health, said: “We have been anticipating the arrival of the Asian hornet for some years and are implementing our well-established protocol to eradicate them and control their spread. “It is important to remember they pose no greater risk to human health than a bee, though we recognise the damage they can cause to honey bee colonies. That’s why we are taking swift and robust action to identify and destroy any nests. “We remain vigilant across the country, working closely with the National Bee Unit and their nationwide network of bee inspectors.” The first Asian hornet confirmed in the UK was discovered in the Tetbury area. A nest in the area has since been found, treated with pesticide and destroyed. No further live Asian hornets have been sighted in the area since the nest was removed. Bee inspectors in Somerset will be supported by nest disposal experts who will use an approved pesticide to destroy any hornets and remove any nests. The Asian hornet arrived in France in 2004 and is now common across large areas of Europe. It was discovered for the first time in Jersey and Alderney this summer. ENDS Notes to Editor ● For advice on what to do if you believe you have seen an Asian hornet please go to the non-native species website ● Anyone who believes they have found a nest should not go near it and report it to alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk ● The cost of eradication on private land will be met by APHA ● For details on the appearance of an Asian hornet please can be found on Bee Base guide or the non-native species identification guide Further advice can be found on the National Bee Unit website including the husbandry advice below: ​http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/ Husbandry Advice: It is very important that beekeepers remain vigilant and monitor their apiaries and surrounding forage for any Asian hornet activity. At this time of the year, Asian hornets can be seen foraging on the ivy for nectar and preying on other foraging insects for protein. Traps should also be hung out and closely monitored. When using bait, please refrain from using light beer or larger mixed with sugar as this does not work. In France a Dark beer​, mixed with 25ml of strawberry syrup and 25ml of orange liqueur has proven to work well. Additionally, a protein bait of mashed fish e.g. prawns or trout, diluted to 25% has also proven effective. Anyone wishing to make their own traps may find the following factsheet useful: How to make a homemade Asian hornet monitoring trap. You can also find wasp and hornet traps (Vaso traps) on the BBKA website: https://www.bbka.org.uk/shop/product/wasp-trap/ Please continue to monitor your own apiaries using hornet traps and encourage those whom you know are not registered on our database to sign up. For further information and interviews: Please contact: Diane Roberts BBKA press officer diane.roberts@bbka.org.uk 07841-625797


04/10/2016 09:53 AM
A confirmed finding of Asian hornet north of the Mendip Hills in Somerset
As with the first sighting, work to find, destroy and remove any nests is already underway, and includes:

• setting up a three mile surveillance zone around the location of the initial sighting
• opening a local control centre to coordinate the response
• deploying bee inspectors across the area who will use infrared cameras and traps to locate any nests
• readying nest disposal experts who will use pesticides to kill the hornets and destroy any nests

Bee inspectors in Somerset will be supported by nest disposal experts who will use an approved pesticide to destroy any hornets and remove any nests.

The first Asian hornet confirmed in the UK was discovered in the Tetbury area. A nest in the area has since been found, treated with pesticide and destroyed. No further live Asian hornets have been sighted in the area since the nest was removed.

Husbandry Advice:

It is very important that beekeepers remain vigilant and monitor their apiaries and surrounding forage for any Asian hornet activity. At this time of the year, Asian hornets can be seen foraging on the ivy for nectar and preying on other foraging insects for protein.

Traps should also be hung out and closely monitored. When using bait, please refrain from using light beer or lager mixed with sugar as this does not work. In France a Dark beer, mixed with 25ml of strawberry syrup and 25ml of orange liqueur has proven to work well.

Additionally, a protein bait of mashed fish e.g. prawns or trout, diluted to 25% has also proven effective. Anyone wishing to make their own traps may find the following factsheet useful: How to make a homemade Asian hornet monitoring trap.

Further guidance on identifying the Asian hornet can be found on the Asian hornet pages of Beebase where you will find a very useful Asian hornet ID sheet and Asian hornet poster. Any suspected Asian hornet sightings should be reported to alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk.

If you are not sure, please still send in a sample for ID or report any sightings. When emailing, please include your name, the location of the sighting and if possible, a photograph of the hornet. Please do not put yourself in any danger of getting stung when trying to take a photo.


02/10/2016 12:59 AM
[News] Asian Hornet nest found and destroyed

Asian Hornet Update Number 3 01/10/2016 The following has been received from the National Bee Unit on 01/10/2016. We recommend you give it your close attention and continue to remain on alert for any potential sightings of Asian hornets An Asian hornet nest has been located and destroyed by experts in the Tetbury area of Gloucestershire. The nest was found at the top of a 55 foot tall conifer tree. Inspectors from the National Bee Unit are continuing to monitor the area for Asian hornets alongside local beekeepers. However to date, no live hornets have been seen since the nest was removed. We urge anyone to report suspect Asian hornet sightings sightings to alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk. Further guidance on the Asian hornet can be found on the Asian hornet pages of Beebase where you will find a very useful Asian hornet ID sheet sheet and Asian hornet poster which is available for identification purposes. Please continue to monitor your own apiaries using hornet traps and encourage those whom you know are not registered on our database to sign up. Sign up at: ​http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/ For further information and interviews: Please contact: Diane Roberts BBKA press officer diane.roberts@bbka.org.uk 07841-625797


30/09/2016 12:59 AM
[News] Asian Hornet update 2

Asian Hornet Update

Number 2

29/9/2016

 

The following has been received from the National Bee Unit on 28/6/2016. We recommend  you give it your close attention and continue to remain on alert for any potential sightings of Asian hornets

 

Following the finding of Asian hornets in Gloucestershire last week we have received a large number of suspect Asian hornet reports from members of the public and beekeepers which we are following up. Bee inspectors have now visited over 100 sites. Asian hornets have been seen at just six locations within 500 meters of the original site.

 

Efforts to track down the nest and destroy it are ongoing. There have been no other substantiated reports of hornets anywhere else in the UK so please be patient while we continue our field work and be assured that when appropriate, national alerts will be sent out via our email alert system. In the meantime, our news feed on BeeBase will be used to keep everyone updated.

 

Please also see the updated ID sheet to help you Identify Vespa velutina in your apiaries http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageId=208. At this time of the year, the best bait to use in traps is fish bait diluted to 25%

 

Please continue to monitor your own apiaries using hornet traps and encourage those whom you know are not registered on our database to sign up.

Sign up at: http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/


29/09/2016 09:53 AM
Asian hornet nest found and destroyed
An Asian hornet nest (image 1) has been located and destroyed by experts in the Tetbury area. The nest (image 2) was found at the top of a 55 foot tall conifer tree (image 3). Inspectors from the National Bee Unit are continuing to monitor the area for Asian hornets alongside local beekeepers. However to date, no live hornets have been seen since the nest was removed.

We urge anyone to report suspect Asian hornet sightings to alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk.

Further guidance on the Asian hornet can be found on the Asian hornet pages of Beebase where you will find a very useful Asian hornet ID sheet sheet and Asian hornet poster which is available for identification purposes.


27/09/2016 12:59 AM
[News] More Asian hornets seen in Gloucestershire

The following release is based on information supplied by Defra on Friday 23 September 2016:

 

The Asian hornet (Vespa velutina) was found by a beekeeper in the Tetbury area last week and other beekeepers in the immediate area have since seen hornets hawking in front of their hives. A 20 km incident zone has been imposed by Defra and the National Bee Unit ( NBU) is currently locating the nest. If they find it they will destroy it. Fortunately the NBU have been expecting the arrival of the Asian hornet for some time and had a contingency plan ready to go.

 

The NBU has caught several hornets and examined their genetics; it appears that these hornets are related to those in France. So they have not come in from China or another country. This is important because they are obviously breeding from quite a small genetic pool and may have been weakened from in-breeding. The issue is whether they flew directly from France to Gloucester which is considered unlikely. So they maybe in other locations already.  This needs to be established. So far every hornet found has been found by a beekeeper.

 

The Asian hornet is a very serious pest of honey bees. As you may know, if the hornets gain access to a colony they will summon the rest of their nest mates and the colony will be overcome very quickly. Our European bees currently have no natural defences.

 

The NBU is checking every hive in the incident zone. But the problem is they cannot be sure they know the whereabouts of every beekeeper and every hive. So, please, if you are not already registered on BeeBase, register now. If you are already registered, please update your entry to ensure all your apiaries are included. 

 

Also please ensure that the beekeepers that you know are informed. Don’t forget to check any wasp traps you have to see if there are hornets in them or indeed set up some new traps.

 

Please look at the identification sheet information at 

 

https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/nonnativespecies/downloadDocument.cfm?id=872

 

Any sighting should be reported to the non-native species team at:     

 

alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk.    

 

It is vital that beekeepers are on the alert.

 

 

BBKA 23 Sept 2016

 


21/09/2016 12:59 AM
[News] Asian Hornet identified in Gloucestershire

There has been a confirmed sighting of the Asian hornet in the Tetbury area of Gloucestershire

The National Bee Unit has confirmed a sighting of the Asian hornet in the Tetbury area of Gloucestershire – the first time the hornet has been discovered in the UK.

The Asian hornet is smaller than our native hornet and poses no greater risk to human health than a bee. However, they do pose a risk to honey bees.

Work to identify, destroy and remove any nests is already underway, which includes:

  • setting up a 3 mile surveillance zone around Tetbury
  • opening a local control centre to coordinate the response
  • deploying bee inspectors across the area who will use infrared cameras and traps to locate any nests
  • readying nest disposal experts who will use pesticides to kill the hornets and destroy any nests

Nicola Spence, Defra Deputy Director for Plant and Bee Health, said:

We have been anticipating the arrival of the Asian hornet for some years and have a well-established protocol in place to eradicate them and control any potential spread.

It is important to remember they pose no greater risk to human health than a bee, though we recognise the damage they can cause to honey bee colonies. That’s why we are taking swift and robust action to identify and destroy any nests.

We remain vigilant across the country, working closely with the National Bee Unit and their nationwide network of bee inspectors.

A local control centre will be opened tomorrow near Tetbury and bee inspectors from around England will be closely monitoring a three mile radius around the initial sighting.

They will be supported by nest disposal experts who will use an approved pesticide to destroy any hornets and remove any nests.

The hornet found in Tetbury is currently undergoing DNA testing at the National Bee Unit in North Yorkshire to help establish how it arrived in the UK.

The hornet arrived in France in 2004 and is now common across large areas of Europe. It was discovered for the first time in Jersey and Alderney this summer. It is believed the species will not be able survive in the north of the UK due to colder winters.

ENDS

Notes to Editor

  1. For advice on what to do if you believe you have seen an Asian hornet please go to the non-native species website

  2. Anyone who believes they have found a nest should not go near it and report it to alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk

  3. The cost of eradication on private land will be met by APHA

  4. For details on the appearance of an Asian hornet please can be found onBee Base guide or the non-native species identification guide

To see the APHA Press Release see https://www.gov.uk/government/news/asian-hornet-identified-in-gloucestershire

20/09/2016 09:53 AM
Asian Hornet Identified in Gloucestershire
Please be aware that we are experiencing a high volume of calls so please use the below guidance for all enquiries relating to Asian hornet sightings.

The National Bee Unit has confirmed a sighting of the Asian hornet in Gloucestershire – the first time the hornet has been discovered in the UK.

The Asian hornet is smaller than our native hornet and poses no greater risk to human health than a bee. However, they do pose a risk to honey bees.

Work to identify, destroy and remove any nests is already underway, which includes:

• opening a local control centre to coordinate the response;

• deploying bee inspectors across the area, and;

• readying nest disposal experts who will use pesticides to kill the hornets and destroy any nests.

Further guidance on the Asian hornet can be found on the Asian hornet pages of Beebase where you will find a very useful  Asian hornet ID sheet and  Asian hornet poster which is available for identification purposes.

Any suspected Asian hornet sightings should be reported to alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk . When emailing, please include your name, the location of the sighting and if possible, a photograph of the hornet. Please do not put yourself in any danger of getting stung when trying to take a photo.

Should you wish to monitor for the hornet, we have designed  A simple monitoring trap for the Asian hornet

Please could all media enquiries be directed to the Defra press Office: 0208 225 7896

For details on the full press release please visit the gov.uk webpage.

02/09/2016 11:59 PM
[News] Asian Hornet nest found in Tetbury and destroyed

Asian Hornet Update Number 3 01/10/2016 The following has been received from the National Bee Unit on 01/10/2016. We recommend you give it your close attention and continue to remain on alert for any potential sightings of Asian hornets An Asian hornet nest has been located and destroyed by experts in the Tetbury area of Gloucestershire. The nest was found at the top of a 55 foot tall conifer tree. Inspectors from the National Bee Unit are continuing to monitor the area for Asian hornets alongside local beekeepers. However to date, no live hornets have been seen since the nest was removed. We urge anyone to report suspect Asian hornet sightings sightings to alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk. Further guidance on the Asian hornet can be found on the Asian hornet pages of Beebase where you will find a very useful Asian hornet ID sheet sheet and Asian hornet poster which is available for identification purposes. Please continue to monitor your own apiaries using hornet traps and encourage those whom you know are not registered on our database to sign up. Sign up at: ​http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/ For further information and interviews: Please contact: Diane Roberts BBKA press officer diane.roberts@bbka.org.uk 07841-625797


26/08/2016 09:53 AM
The Yellow Legged Hornet, aka Asian Hornet, Vespa velutina, found in Alderney and Jersey.
On the 9th August 2016 an amateur entomologist reported a sighting of an adult Asian Hornet from a photograph they took on the island of Jersey at Mount Bingham, St Helier (http://www.gov.je/News/2016/Pages/AsianHornet.aspx).The image was sent to us at the National Bee Unit for identification and was confirmed as an Asian Hornet. This incident follows the discovery of a nest of Asian Hornets in July, and, in Alderney which was destroyed as a precaution against further nests establishing on the island. Since the discovery, the area has been searched and no further hornet activity detected.

Although this finding may be alarming in the first instance, we should be encouraged that members of the public are correctly identifying the hornet so that quick intervention can be taken, resulting in swift nest destructions and stopping the further spread of the hornet, beyond French shores.

Thank you to everyone who is looking out for the Asian Hornet, and to those of you who have gone to the time and trouble to report suspect sightings. Your help is really appreciated, and anyone who believes they have found an Asian Hornet should send in a photograph of the insect for identification to either nbuoffice@apha.gsi.gov.uk or alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk .


16/07/2016 09:53 AM
Asian Hornet Sightings: What To Do
Following recent press articles there have been many reports of potential Asian hornet, (Vespa velutina) sightings across the UK. We would like to re-assure everybody that there have been no confirmed sightings of Asian hornets in the UK, and so far all hornet reportings received by the National Bee Unit have been identified as the native European hornet, Vespa crabro.

Experts at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology confirm that the hornet picture taken in Kent and featured in the press is not an Asian hornet - which would be darker in colouration, and that the size suggests European hornet.

The Asian hornet or yellow-legged hornet, is smaller than our native hornet, with characteristic yellow legs, a dark velvety thorax, and a dark abdomen with a distinctive yellow band on the fourth segment.

We are aware of the potential impacts they could have on honey bees and have contingency plans in place to remove them if they are identified. This includes comprehensive monitoring and teams ready to destroy any confirmed nests.

For those who think they have seen an Asian hornet please first read the Asian hornet ID sheet which outlines the main differences between the native European hornet and this Asian hornet.

There is more information on the Asian hornet pages of BeeBase.

If you still believe you have seen the Asian hornet after reading this ID sheet, please report it to the email address below, together with a photograph and location details: alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk

For more information about the Asian hornet and the work of the Non Native Species Secretariat, visit their website here: http://www.nonnativespecies.org//alerts/index.cfm?id=4

National Bee Unit



26/04/2015 09:53 AM
Asian Hornet Videos on YouTube
The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has a YouTube channel which the National Bee Unit will use to share videos on in the future. Recently, we uploaded our experiences of the Asian Hornet in Andernos-les-Bains, South West France.

The YouTube channel can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCz2mmKhYUpQJEviiAzOEqA

The NBU would like to thank the Beekeepers and the Mairie of Andernos-les-Bains for the warm welcome received, for the time taken to teach their methods of controlling the hornet and for sharing their experiences, which will hold us in good stead for the potential arrival of this exotic threat.


09/08/2013 09:53 AM
Have you seen this invader?
The Asian hornet is a large wasp which is poised to invade Britain. If it gains a foothold it will be bad for honey bees, native insects and pose a threat to human health. August and September are the months when it is most likely to be seen. It is relatively easy to identify and also makes large distinctive nests (often high up in trees). The Government takes this issue seriously and has drawn up a plan to try to eradicate this species before it can establish in Britain. To do this, we need to find out immediately if it is spotted in this country. If you think you have seen this species please report your sighting straight away via the Alert system:

alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk


Alert Poster:
https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/nonnativespecies/downloadDocument.cfm?id=859

ID sheet:
https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/beebase/downloadDocument.cfm?id=698

Information sheet:
https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/beebase/downloadDocument.cfm?id=402

Asian Hornet Information page:
https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/beebase/index.cfm?pageid=208

05/04/2013 09:53 AM
Early Detection of the Asian Hornet.

Beekeepers please remember that this is the time of year at which exotic species of predatory hornets will begin to emerge from hibernation and establish new colonies. The Asian hornet, Vespa velutina has increased it’s range in continental Europe and continues to pose a threat of arrival and potential establishment in the UK and we therefore need to keep it out. The message from the NBU is as follows:

• Monitoring for arrival of mated queens is strongly encouraged (NB. Southern coastal counties of England).

• Consider hanging hornet traps (See attached sheet about A simple monitoring trap for the Asian hornet).

• Key message from NBU – Spring trapping works; at this time of the year, the queen hornet will be flying about in search of sugary substances to raise her energy levels after hibernation.

• Know how to recognise Asian hornets (See attached file . How to idendtify Asian hornets).

• Know where to report sightings:

  alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk

• Register on BeeBase.


11/04/2012 09:53 AM
Response Plan for Dealing with the Asian Hornet Produced

Developed by the Food and Environment Research Agency (Bee Health Policy and the NBU), in consultation with Defra (Non Native Species Policy, and its Non Native Species Secretariat), the Response Plan was finalised in April 2012.

Its objectives are: Early detection, interception and prevention of establishment, nest destruction to eradicate localised outbreaks (if within a limited geographical area or areas), development of longer term management plans where eradication is no longer possible due to the extent and number of outbreaks, provision of advice to beekeepers and all other stakeholders.

Please visit the Asian hornet pages 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.


14/03/2007 09:53 AM
Asian Hornet Established in France
Please see the below link regarding recent hornet swarms in France that entomologists fear could reach Britain:

The Telegraph

01/01/1970 11:59 PM
[News] First Asian Hornet confirmed in North Devon
The National Bee Unit is sending inspectors to help with the hunt for the hornet's nest.
 
Beekeepers in the area are advised to check their colonies immediately. And to keep their eyes peeled for evidence of where the hornet colony is based. 
Recent findings of Asian Hornets in the Channel islands have shown that they not only make their nests at the top of tall trees but also are not adverse to finding a quiet spot in a garden shed. 
-ends-