Thursday 07 September 2023
The Asian hornet team joined forces with Guernsey Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) and Civil Protection Volunteers last week to remove the largest Asian hornet nest recorded in Guernsey.
The removal of the nest from a tall oak tree on La Vallette was made possible with the deployment of GFRS's largest turntable ladder, capable of extending to 32m above ground level. Due to the proximity of the nest to the bathing pools, Civil Protection Volunteers supervised the closure of the road to vehicles and pedestrians, ensuring that the site remained safe during the evening.
The nest was located following reports of Asian hornets in town after which the Asian hornet team managed to successfully track the hornets to the nest using strategically placed bait stations.
Francis Russell, Asian Hornet Strategy Coordinator, said:
"We're very grateful for the professional support we received from the GFRS and Civil Protection. Without their help and expertise, we wouldn't have been able to access this nest to safely remove it.
"Since August, we have found nine nests and removed five. Plans are underway to deal with the remaining nests where locations have made this particularly challenging. As autumn approaches, the race is on to remove all the Asian hornet nests across the island. If nests remain in place and are not dealt with as a matter of urgency, the production of a new generation of queens will be triggered, with a large secondary nest capable of producing as many as 300-500 queens. These would then hibernate on the island over the winter causing further problems for the following year."
Jon Le Page, Chief Fire Officer - Guernsey Fire and Rescue Service, said:
"We were more than happy to be able to be able to offer our equipment and personnel to support the Asian hornet team last week. It's the first time we've been called upon to support this line of work and our officers assisted ably. Although we are responsible for dealing with fires and providing advice to prevent fires, our remit is much broader than that, including rescuing people after a road traffic collision or helping with cliff rescues, and this latest work further highlights the varied support that our crews offer."
If islanders spot a hornet, they are asked not to kill it, but instead to take a picture and observe the direction it flies in before reporting this information to the Asian hornet team by calling 07839 197082 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The team can then use this information to locate more worker hornets and track them back to the nest. Find out more about how to identify an Asian hornet at gov.gg/asianhornet.