Tuesday 29 October 2019
On Friday October 25th, the Asian Hornet Team successfully located the Asian hornet nest they had been tracking since receiving reports, which were subsequently confirmed, of hornets feeding on a late flowering shrub in the Havelet area.
To track down the nest a number of bait stations were set up in the locality, all placed within a 500m radius of the sighting.
Hornets were observed flying in a southerly direction from a bait station at the Guernsey Island Archives in Cornet Street and others were seen heading easterly from the Pandora Hotel. The hours of careful observation finally paid off as the last piece in the puzzle fell into place. From the garden of Victor Hugo's house hornets were seen arriving every 5 minutes and then returning over the boundary wall to the terraced gardens below. As the Asian Hornet Team closed in on the nest they were very surprised to see the hornets disappearing into the top of a wall, 6ft off the ground. Closer inspection revealed two small holes where the hornets were gaining access to a hidden cavity inside the wall.
Francis Russell, Project Coordinator for the Asian Hornet Strategy, said:
"We were amazed to see a lot of hornets that were busily coming and going from the top of the stone wall. The entrance holes were only large enough to let a single hornet enter at a time. Although we have found nests in all sorts of locations before, we've never found one that was inside a free standing wall. The owners were equally surprised as they had read a previous Guernsey Press article that we were looking for a nest in the area. They had checked around their garden for signs of hornets but had not seen anything. We treated the nest successfully on Monday morning but will have no idea how large it is or whether any queen hornets have been raised in the nest. Over the weekend we set some traps close by and picked up a total of 103 hornets prior to treatment. This cold weather will definitely speed up the end of any surviving hornets that we don't know about but the risk is that queens may have already left to go into hibernation. As always we ask people to remain vigilant and continue to report any sightings to us."