Wednesday 11 January 2023
2022 was a successful year for the control and eradication of Asian hornets in Guernsey.
Last year, a total of nine queens were caught in the spring, with two primary nests and two secondary nests destroyed during the summer months.
The Asian hornet is a non-native invasive species and an aggressive predator of many types of insect, but on average 30% of its diet is made up of honeybees. The Asian hornet is therefore a major threat to our biodiversity, pollinating insects, and beekeeping activities. They also pose a risk to public health as they are known to attack if their nests are disturbed.
The aim of the Asian Hornet Strategy is to keep the population of Asian hornets as low as possible by implementing different phases of monitoring and control during the year.
The first phase, "Spring Queening" typically runs from April to June and aims to trap queen Asian hornets as they emerge from hibernation, or travel across the water from France. During this phase, specially modified traps are situated every 500m and regularly monitored by householders and landowners who were asked to put up a trap on their land.
The second phase, "Track Don't Trample", starts once the queen Asian hornets have left their primary nests and taken up residence in the larger secondary nests. Throughout this summer and autumn phase islanders are encouraged to photograph and report suspected sightings of Asian hornets. There were 262 reported sightings checked by the Asian hornet Team in 2022, of which 15 were positively identified as invasive hornets.
Francis Russell, Invasive Non-Native Species Policy & Coordination Officer, said:
"The 2022 annual report highlights the success of our efforts to control and eradicate Asian hornets last year. Despite there being signs that 2022 was a favourable year for this invasive insect across Europe, including Jersey where they successfully destroyed 130 secondary nests, we have only seen a low number of Asian hornets, while public engagement and reporting has remained high.
"We're very grateful to members of the public across Guernsey, Herm, Sark and Alderney who have reported possible sightings to our team, as our strategy relies heavily on the vigilance and support of islanders. Ahead of this year's spring trapping, we would continue to encourage islanders to familiarise themselves with information about Asian hornets at gov.gg/asianhornet and to remain on the lookout again as we head into the months of April and May."