Latest news

Credible sighting of a single Asian hornet in Dover

National Bee Unit inspectors are carrying out enhanced surveillance in Dover, Kent in response to a clear photo of an Asian hornet (Vespa velutina) taken by a member of the public.

The National Bee Unit is encouraging beekeepers and the public to remain vigilant, especially near ivy in full flower which is particularly attractive to Asian hornets.


Confirmed sighting of Asian hornets in Essex

An Asian Hornet Team member reported seeing Asian hornets in Rayleigh, Essex. This came a month after a single confirmed Asian hornet was found in Chelmsford, Essex. 

National Bee Unit Inspectors were despatched to the location to carry out further surveillance and confirmed the sighting on 28 September 2022.

A search in the area, led to a substantial sized next being found in a residential garden up a tree in Hockley. The nest was removed for further investigation.


Asian hornets found in Portsmouth

Following the recent confirmed sighting of an Asian Hornet (Vespa velutina) in Ascot, Berkshire, a further confirmed Asian hornet has been identified in Portsmouth, Hampshire which was announced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Identification of the insect, which is smaller than the European hornet (Vespa crabro), was confirmed by the National Bee Unit.


Confirmed sighting of Asian hornet in Berkshire

BeeBase reports a beekeeper in the Ascot area of Berkshire filmed insects buzzing around a hive where an Asian hornet (Vespa velutina) was lying lifeless.

In a press release issued by the National Bee Unit:

The National Bee Unit has confirmed the sighting and monitoring is underway to detect any other Asian hornets in the vicinity.


Asian Hornet week 2021

Jersey and the Channel Islands value help from a vigilant public in their fight against the invasion of Asian Hornets from the continent waged over the last few years. In the UK we also need that help.

Asian Hornet Week is upon us once again from Monday 6th to Friday 10th September 2021. In the last three years, nests have been found and destroyed in Devon, Cornwall and Dorset. This year, no nests have been found, due probably to reduction of boat traffic across the Channel because of Covid. Queen hornets on the Continent hide themselves in sheltered spots to hibernate. Unfortunately, this includes boats, caravans and trucks, so as the traffic resumes, we are likely to see the influx of this invasive insect increase again.


Triggering honey bee defence signals

Biologists studying the Asian hornet (Vespa velutina) and Asian honey bees (Apis cerana) at the University of California in San Diego, USA have published new research that deconstructs the "I See You" signal that involves guard bees shaking their abdomens laterally, which increases as the threat intensifies.

The research suggests that visual recognition of Asian hornets appeared to be the main trigger for the signal instead of the Asian hornet's smell or sound and requires honesty within the highly co-operative bee colony to minimise false alarms.