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First secondary Asian hornet secondary nest of 2022 found in Torteval

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Thursday 11 August 2022

The first Asian hornet secondary nest of 2022 has been removed today after worker hornets were tracked in Torteval.

The Asian Hornet Team (AHT) were alerted to the presence of a single worker hornet trapped inside a net protecting ripening cherries off Rue de Portelettes, Torteval. Acting quickly, the AHT advised the landowner to release the hornet unharmed so that it could be tracked, and bait monitoring stations were placed on an old bunker.

Worker hornets were then seen visiting the stations regularly. The pattern of their flight after stopping at the station was monitored by the AHT and, working together with residents and local beekeepers, they soon homed in on the location of the secondary nest. It was found located high up in a large sycamore tree, on a steep slope, off Rue des Villains. The nest was well concealed, only visible when moving branches aside.

The landowner gave permission for a small 'cherry picker' platform to be brought onto the site, which has enabled the AHT to access, destroy and remove the nest today (11th August).

Francis Russell, Project Coordinator for the Asian Hornet Strategy, said:

"This is the first large secondary nest that we have found on the island this year after not having had any other confirmed reports of Asian hornets for about 2 months. This nest was surprisingly difficult to find even though we had as many as 8 hornets coming and going from our bait stations.

"We suspect the queen from this nest is one of a number that arrived on island during early May. This one must have evaded capture and went on to establish this nest. It's great that we have found the nest so early in the year before it got quite large with greater numbers of worker hornets heading out each day to feast on our native pollinators like bees. There may well be more nests across the island which we will be very keen to track down so as always, we are encouraging everyone to keep sending in photos and report anything suspicious to us."

This discovery highlights the important role played by the public in helping to control this highly invasive pest species. Suspected sightings should be reported (with a photograph if possible) to asianhornet@gov.gg or by telephoning 01481 220356 or 07839 197082. Islanders are reminded of the identification resources which can be found at https://gov.gg/asianhornet which are useful in helping distinguish Asian hornets from other 'lookalikes' such as the common wasp and hornet mimic hoverfly.

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