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Asian hornet update - appeal to property and land owners near to St Saviours church

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Wednesday 21 August 2019

Yesterday, Tuesday 20th August, the Asian Hornet Team responded to a reported sighting of Asian hornets at a private garden near to St Saviour's Church.

A local beekeeper raised the alert and it was later confirmed that three hornets had been captured next to the bee hives. The Asian Hornet team believe it is very likely that there is at least one nest in this vicinity.

These are the first confirmed reports in 10 weeks, when a single Asian hornet worker was trapped at a property on Forest Road. Throughout the summer, members of the public have been very responsive in sending photographs and information to report possible sightings. Until the present time most of these sightings have turned out to be Hornet mimic hoverflies which are completely harmless native pollinators even though they do closely resemble hornets.

The Asian Hornet Team wish to appeal to all land and property owners living within a 2km radius of St Saviour's Church to please check all trees, hedges, bramble patches, outbuildings and walls for signs of a nest as soon as possible and report anything of concern. Statistically Asian hornets prefer to nest high up in deciduous trees, however in Alderney, Jersey and Guernsey nests have been found low down in brambles.

Anyone who spots an Asian hornet is asked to photograph the insect if possible, noting the location and watching it long enough to determine the direction of travel as this may be helpful in finding a nest site.

If large, dark coloured flying insects are seen in number flying back and forth from a particular area, they could indicate the presence of a nest.

Sightings should be reported to the Asian Hornet Team by emailing asianhornet@gov.gg or calling 01481 234567.

Francis Russell, Project Coordinator - Asian Hornet Strategy, said:

"The fact that we have not had any positive Asian hornet sightings for several weeks is encouraging but we know that there is no time for complacency. Whilst the efforts of Spring Queening may have maintained Asian hornet numbers at a low level, they may easily go undetected. We wish to thank members of the public and the Guernsey Beekeepers Association for their assistance with hornet sightings so far, and would ask everyone to remain vigilant, as it is important that any nests are found as soon as possible. The next couple of months are a critical time for controlling Asian hornet numbers as the next generation of queen hornets will shortly be leaving the nest to hibernating and any queens which survive in the spring will go on to build new nests next year."

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