'˜Killer' Asian Hornet's UK invasion worse than we thought

The invasion of '˜killer' Asian hornets into the UK appears worse than initially thought after a SECOND sighting in a separate location was confirmed.

Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 10:08 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 3:26 am
Asian hornet
Asian hornet

The pest has now been spotted north of the Mendip Hills in Somerset, around 40 miles from the sighting of a huge nest in Tetbury, Glos.

Last weekend, the National Bee Unit announced that a pumpkin-sized nest at the top of a 55 ft conifer tree in Tetbury was treated with pesticide and destroyed.

Work to find, destroy and remove any nests near the second sighting is already underway.

The National Bee Unit has set up a three mile surveillance zone around the location with a local control centre to coordinate the response.

Inspectors across the area will use infrared cameras and traps to locate any nests and nest disposal experts 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.

Nicola Spence from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 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.”

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.