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Asian hornet nest treated in St Saviours

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Thursday 12 September 2019

The Asian hornet nest found on the 4th September off Route Des Piques in St Saviours was successfully treated on the morning of 11th September by the Asian Hornet Team.

Later the same day, the nest was removed and then frozen for 24hrs, as a precaution, to destroy any larvae that the pesticide may not have affected.

The nest was located 10-12m up in a sweet chestnut tree on the edge of a paddock. It was accessed using a "cherry picker" in order to assist Damian Harris, the Field & Research Officer from the Asian Hornet Team. Agriculture, Countryside and Land Management Services wishes to thank the landowner for their assistance in tracking down the Asian hornets' nest and for allowing access to their property.

This is the first secondary nest found on Guernsey this year following a period of 10 weeks in which there were no positive sightings of the Asian hornet. The Asian Hornet Team were first alerted to the presence of a nest in the area when a beekeeper near St Saviours Church reported seeing hornets that were attracted to her hives. The nest was eventually located some 520m to the east and was detected by observing the flight patterns of worker hornets attracted to strategically placed bait stations, set up and monitored by the Asian Hornet Team.

Francis Russell, Project Coordinator (Asian Hornet Strategy) said:

"It is good news that this nest has been successfully treated and taken down. It was quite a small one, about 1ft/30cm in diameter. The next stage is to examine it carefully to see if there are any signs that new queens are being raised. These queens would shortly be leaving their nest to go into hibernation so we hope that we have caught this nest before that happens. Over the next week or so, we will continue to monitor the bait stations set up in the vicinity to be certain that there is only the one nest. There have been no other confirmed sightings of Asian Hornets anywhere else on the island at this time. However, it is always important that the public remain vigilant, so please continue to report any sightings."

Most of the sightings received this year were of native insects such as the Hornet mimic hoverfly and therefore the public are encouraged not to kill the insects that they find. If a suspected hornet is sighted, please contact the Asian Hornet Team by emailing asianhornet@gov.gg or calling 01481 234567. Don't forget to include a photo and location of your record. Information about the direction the hornet flies in is helpful for the Asian Hornet Team who can then start tracking worker hornets back to their nest which can be safely treated and taken down.

A dedicated States of Guernsey Asian Hornet Team Facebook page has been established in order to provide regular updates and information to the community. Go to www.facebook.com/asianhornetguernsey to like and follow our page.

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