UK

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.

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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.

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Asian hornet identified in Hampshire

Beekeepers and members of the public were asked to remain vigilant after an Asian hornet (Vespa velutina) was spotted in the Gosport area of Hampshire. The National Bee Unit confirmed the sighting and monitoring commenced to detect any other Asian hornets in the vicinity.

This is the first confirmed UK sighting since October 2019, when two related nests were detected and destroyed near Christchurch, Dorset.

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Devon Beekeepers need your help as they prepare for action against the Asian Hornet

Devon Beekeepers’ Asian Hornet Action Teams (AHATs) are responding once again to help stem the incursion threat from the Asian hornet which has been sweeping through Europe since 2004 and most recently the Channel Islands.

Devon branches will be joining with similar AHAT teams throughout the UK for another National Asian Hornet Watch Week running from 7th-13th September 2020.

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Asian Hornet queen monitoring

Many of us are aware of the threat to our bees and to all our other pollinating insects from the Asian hornet (Vespa velutina). At this time of year, over-wintering queens may be coming out of hibernation and as part of a county-wide initiative to raise awareness of the problem, we are asking beekeepers and the general public throughout the country to help by setting up bait stations and to spread the word.

Please help to prevent this invasive non-native insect becoming established in the UK.

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