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Home Breaking  UK Urges Vigilance Against Asian Hornets as Summer Season Approaches

 UK Urges Vigilance Against Asian Hornets as Summer Season Approaches

The UK’s Chief Plant Health Officer, Professor Nicola Spence, is calling on beekeepers and the public to remain vigilant for Asian hornet sightings as we enter the peak summer season. Although smaller than native hornets, Asian hornets pose a risk to honeybees and other pollinators.

 UK Urges Vigilance Against Asian Hornets As Summer Season Approaches

Identifying Asian Hornets

 UK Urges Vigilance Against Asian Hornets As Summer Season Approaches

Asian hornets can be distinguished by their dark bodies, a wide orange stripe on the fourth abdomen section, and yellow leg ends. To report sightings, the public can use the Asian Hornet Watch App.

 UK Urges Vigilance Against Asian Hornets As Summer Season Approaches

 uk Urges Vigilance Against Asian Hornets As Summer Season Approaches

Record Numbers in 2023

 UK Urges Vigilance Against Asian Hornets As Summer Season Approaches

Last year, the UK experienced a record number of Asian hornet sightings. The Animal and Plant Health Agency’s National Bee Unit responded swiftly, locating and destroying 72 nests across 56 locations, with Kent being the hotspot.

 UK Urges Vigilance Against Asian Hornets As Summer Season Approaches

Eradication Efforts

 UK Urges Vigilance Against Asian Hornets As Summer Season Approaches

The National Bee Unit continues its efforts to eradicate Asian hornets. Spring trapping has been implemented in areas where overwintering Asian hornet queens may have posed a risk. These traps allow non-target invertebrates to escape.

 UK Urges Vigilance Against Asian Hornets As Summer Season Approaches

Public Involvement

Professor Nicola Spence emphasises the importance of early reporting: “By alerting us to possible sightings, the public helps us take swift action against Asian hornets. While they don’t pose a greater risk to human health, they can harm honeybee colonies and other pollinators.”

Reporting Sightings

If you spot an Asian hornet, use the iPhone and Android app “Asian Hornet Watch” or the online report form. Include a photograph if possible. Beekeepers should stay informed via the gov.uk sightings page and BeeBase.

Awareness at the Chelsea Flower Show

Defra coincides with this announcement with the Chelsea Flower Show, where an interactive exhibit highlights the spread of Asian hornets and their impact on honeybees and wild pollinators. The goal is to raise awareness among gardeners and the industry.

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