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Possible Asian Hornet sighting in Sark

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Monday 10 July 2017

Agriculture, Countryside and Land Management Services is asking the public to be watchful for Asian Hornet.

A hornet sighted in Sark this weekend by a resident has not been formally identified but photographs indicate that it was likely to be a non-native Asian Hornet (Vespa velutina).   In July 2016 an Asian Hornet was identified in Alderney.   Two Asian Hornet nests have been destroyed since and the most recent sighting of Asian Hornet in Alderney was 12th June this year. 

The Asian Hornet is smaller than the more common native European hornet and poses a significant threat to honey bees and other pollinators.   The States of Guernsey is working closely with the States of Alderney and Jersey, Sark Government (including Brecqhou), and Herm Island Ltd to ensure all are aware of this most recent sighting in Sark.

The Guernsey Beekeeping Association has advised its members on steps to increase vigilance and monitoring of bee hives through the use of baited 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.   

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.  Anyone spotting what they believe to be Asian Hornet is recommended to watch it long enough to determine the direction of travel as this may be helpful in finding a nest site.

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 alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk and to Linda.mccutcheon@gov.gg, Tel: 01481 707612 or to ACLMS@gov.gg Tel: 01481 234567.    

Any sightings in Alderney should be reported to the States of Alderney Tel: 01481 822408 or 07781 101954.

For sightings in Sark please contact agriculture.environment@gov.sark.gg

Downloads

Asian Hornet ID Sheet

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