Tuesday 18 July 2023
The 'Track Don't Trample' campaign is being launched for a fifth year after a record 38 queen Asian hornets were caught during the annual island-wide "Spring Queening" trapping programme.
As part of the 'Track Don't Trample' campaign, if islanders spot a hornet, they are asked not to kill them, but instead to take a picture and observe the direction it flies in before reporting this information to the Asian hornet team by calling 07839 197082 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The team can then use this information to locate more worker hornets and track them back to the nest. Find out more about how to identify an Asian hornet at gov.gg/asianhornet.
The number of Asian hornet queens caught is a three-fold increase from last spring and is thought to have been caused by the strong north-easterly winds which help the hornets fly over from France. In addition to the 38 queens, the Asian hornet team have also destroyed five primary nests.
Primary nests are small nests built by a queen hornet in spring. They are usually built in sheds or outbuildings but are also frequently found inside bird boxes. The queens stay within these nests for around six weeks, where they raise roughly 100 worker hornets. Once the nest is large enough, the hornets will leave it and move to other areas, such as taller trees, where larger secondary nests can be built.
Due to their size and location, it is much easier to treat and remove the smaller primary nests, so islanders are asked to be especially vigilant over the next few weeks to help locate them before the hornets move to build secondary nests.
Francis Russell, Asian Hornet Strategy coordinator, said:
"We are very grateful to our volunteers for their support and commitment to the trapping programme over the past two months. Also, to the wider public who have played a vital role in reporting potential Asian hornet or nest sightings to us.
"As we move onto the 'Track Don't Trample' phase of the annual Asian hornet strategy, please do keep your eyes out for Asian hornets or their nests. There are only a few more weeks left to find primary nests, so please do look in sheds, outbuildings and bird houses and if you see anything you believe to be an Asian hornet please report it, along with a photograph if possible."