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.

The British Beekeepers' Association said:

Bee Inspectors went out Friday afternoon and as soon as they put traps down several, very hungry, hornets flew down to feed on them. The Inspectors tracked the hornets back to the nest which was about 30cm in diameter. The nest was 20 metres up a tree but they say it could have been spotted very easily because there were no leaves on the trees. 

It was damaged by a storm on Friday night but they were able to destroy it and remove the nest on Sunday afternoon. 

The nest has now been taken to government laboratories at York for examination. 

Bee Inspector, Peter Davies, who led the hunt is encouraging all beekeepers in the Portsmouth Fareham and Gosport areas to put out bait traps for Asian Hornets - the hornets in Portsmouth were very hungry and will fly a long way for a good source of food.

There have been 21 sightings of the Asian hornet since 2016, five of which have been found in Hampshire.

If you think you have seen an Asian hornet, please use the Asian Hornet Watch mobile app to report the sighting.