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First Asian hornets of the year caught as part of 'Spring Queening' project

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Wednesday 10 April 2024

The first queen Asian hornet of the year in Guernsey was caught in a trap off La Mazotte, Vale on Friday.

The following day, a second queen was successfully trapped on Les Arguilliers Lane, also in the Vale. The owner has been looking after a trap since the island-wide trapping programme was first introduced in 2019 but this was the first time that they had caught a hornet.

The garden where the trap was hanging is only 150m from a nest that was taken out of a tall poplar tree in early September last year. There is some evidence to show that the queen hornets are attracted to particular areas when deciding where to build their nests. A similar pattern was seen at Pleinmont in 2023, but the reasons for this are not yet understood.

Francis Russell, Asian Hornet Strategy Coordinator, said:

"It is very rewarding when our volunteers catch a hornet especially as many of them have been loyal volunteers checking their traps every spring for the past six years.

"Queen hornets are strong flyers and can turn up anywhere across the island which is why we work hard to make sure we get complete coverage when setting our traps.

"It was a busy weekend with Sark also reporting that they captured their sixth queen of the year on Sunday. They are following the same system as us but increased the number of volunteers this year to monitor 66 traps, spaced every 500m.

"Although the traps are effective, we cannot emphasise enough the important role played by members of the public in reporting potential Asian hornet sightings and looking out for small nests made by the queens in a few weeks' time. Our aim is to ensure that we can keep the populations of Asian hornet as low as possible, to protect public health and the island's biodiversity."

More information about Asian hornets, including what to look for and how to report sightings, is available at gov.gg/asianhornet.

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