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20th May 2024

Government issues Asian hornet warning after record number of sightings in 2023

Joseph Loftus

The government have issued a warning.

There has been a huge surge of Asian hornets over the last few years prompting the government to release a warning ahead of this summer.

The insects, which can eat up to 50 honeybees a day, are believed to be living and breeding in the UK.

Brits have been urged to report sightings of Asian hornets as nature groups have warned of a potential surge in the non-native species.

The UK’s Chief Plant Health Officer Professor Nicola Spence today told the British public to be “increasingly vigilant” to the presence of Asian hornets.

According to the GOV website “the Asian hornet is smaller than our native hornet and poses no greater risk to human health than our native wasps and hornets”.

Asian hornets are distinctive and can be identified by their very dark body, wide orange stripe on the fourth abdomen section and yellow leg ends.

Any sightings of the hornet should be logged via the Asian Hornet Watch App.

Professor Spence added: “By ensuring we are alerted to possible sightings as early as possible, the public can help us take swift and effective action to stamp out the threat posed by Asian hornets.

“While the Asian hornet poses no greater risk to human health than other wasps or hornets, they can damage honey bee colonies and harm other pollinators.

“Please continue to be vigilant for any Asian hornets and if you think you’ve spotted one, report your sighting through the Asian hornet app or online.”

If you suspect you have seen an Asian hornet you should report this using the iPhone and Android app ‘Asian Hornet Watch’ or by using our online report form.

Alternatively, e-mail [email protected].

People have been asked to provide a photograph with their sighting if they can “safely” obtain one.

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