Friday 22 July 2016
An adult hornet was found last week in Alderney by a States of Alderney employee and has since been positively identified by the UK's National Bee Unit as being a non-native Asian Hornet (Vespa velutina). The nearby nest and larvae were destroyed as a precaution.
The Asian Hornet is smaller than the more common native European hornet and poses a significant threat to honey bees and other pollinators (please refer to the size guide download available on this page). Beekeepers in Alderney and Guernsey have been notified of the identification of the Asian hornet. The States of Guernsey is working closely with the States of Jersey, Sark Government (including Brecqhou), and Herm Island Ltd to ensure all are aware of this finding.
The Guernsey Beekeeping Association has advised its members on steps to increase vigilance and monitoring of bee hives through the use of hornet traps. It is anticipated that sightings of Asian Hornet are most likely around bee hives as it is an aggressive predator of honey bees, but there is no indication that it is in Guernsey or the other Bailiwick islands. Asian Hornets frequently nest high in trees and if any suspect hornet nest is found the States of Guernsey will arrange for inspection and any necessary eradication.
As with wasps and bees, hornets have a painful sting so people should avoid direct contact and never attempt to disturb a hornet's nest.
This hornet is not the same as the Mandarin or Giant Asian hornet (Vespa mandarinia) which is much larger and found in China. It has not been found in the UK or Europe.
Anyone who thinks they have seen an Asian Hornet is asked to first read the Asian Hornet ID sheet on the National Bee Unit's website: http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/public/News/news.cfm?all=y#170
If they then consider they have an Asian hornet after reading the ID sheet they should report it to this email address firstname.lastname@example.org and to Linda.email@example.com, Tel: 01481 707612 or to ACLMS@gov.gg Tel: 01481 717200.
Any sightings in Alderney should be reported to the States of Alderney Tel: 01481 822408 or 07781 101954.
For sightings in Sark please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Asian Hornets were accidentally introduced to Charente Maritime in south west France in 2004 in a shipment of pottery from China. Since then the Asian Hornet has spread northwards through France as it colonises urban, agricultural and wooded areas.