Monday 25 May 2020
Islanders are reminded to stay vigilant for Asian hornets after two confirmed sightings in the last three weeks.
Over the next few weeks, queen Asian hornets will be building their primary nests and raising the next generation of worker hornets. The Asian Hornet Strategy places an emphasis on capturing queen hornets each spring, as dealing with a hornet queen and her small nest is much simpler than tackling the very large secondary nests that are invariably built high up in the treetops.
If they are not treated, these nests expand rapidly during August - September and can hold up to 5,000 hornets. When undetected or left uncontrolled, Asian hornets may present an increased risk to the public as well as causing significant harm to our native insect populations as they are a voracious predator.
Last week, the fourth queen Asian hornet sighting of 2020 was confirmed by the Asian Hornet Team (AHT) in a garden on Les Querities, Castel, but evaded capture.
This follows a sighting of another queen Asian hornet on 9th May, which was filmed visiting geranium flowers in a garden on Route des Pecqueries, St Sampsons, which also escaped.
In an attempt to catch these queen hornets, specially modified traps have been set up in the vicinities of both gardens and are being regularly monitored by the respective residents. These extra traps are in addition to the 270 that have been in operation since the beginning of April, set up every 500m across the island as part of the AHT's annual 'Spring Queening' project.
Francis Russell - Project Coordinator (Asian Hornet Strategy) says:
"Throughout this lockdown period when more of us are spending time in our gardens and out enjoying the island's wildlife it is really important to remain vigilant for Asian hornets and report any potential sightings swiftly so that we can check these out. I would also ask people to check their outbuildings, sheds, verandas and porches to look for any of these early queen's nests."
If you think you have discovered an Asian hornet, try to contain it, take a photograph and email it to email@example.com for confirmation, or call 07839 197012. For more information please visit https://www.gov.gg/asianhornet.