Asian Hornet Week 2021

The Asian hornet is slightly smaller than our native European hornet which is beneficial to our environment. The Asian hornet appears almost entirely dark (especially when viewed from above) and has these characteristic yellow legs. It’s important to know the difference between the Asian hornet and our European one.

This year’s Asian Hornet week is 6-10 September. It’s purpose is to increase public awareness around this invasive species with the aim of encouraging people to learn how to identify it, remain vigilant for its presence and to report it if seen. If the Asian Hornet becomes established in the UK it would wreck havoc on our eco-system and devastate our already beleaguered bee populations. It also poses a significant risk to the human population.

Beekeepers and members of the public are being asked to do three simple things:

  1. Learn how to identify the Asian Hornet; it’s important not to confuse it with our beneficial native hornet.
  2. Remain vigilant
  3. Report it if seen

Please click here to find out how to identify the Asian Hornet (Vespa Veluntina) and learn what to do if you see one. Asian hornet

In addition, Beekeepers are being asked to:

  1. Monitor their apiaries (It’s vital beekeepers can identify the Asian hornet)
  2. Consider joining the Asian Hornet Team

Monitoring your apiary

In Autumn, when wasps and hornets lose their usual sources of floral nectar, honeybee hives become very attractive to them. The BBKA is asking beekeepers to put aside an hour a day during Asian Hornet Week to watch for hornets ‘hawking’ at the entrances of their hives. 

Asian hornet (Vespa Veluntina) ‘hawking’ at the hive entrance.

You can also make monitoring traps to place in your apiary and the National Bee Unit has produced some helpful resources to show how to do this. There is a downloadable leaflet or if you prefer, an instructional video in the best ‘here’s one I did earlier‘ tradition of Blue Peter!

Asian Hornet Team

The BBKA is asking every association to create a team to assist with local requests for help in identifying Asian Hornets. The idea is to have a network of local volunteers so that individuals will not be asked to travel vast distances.

Being a member of the team is not currently an onerous responsibility and with any luck, you will not be called upon at all but the aim of the team is to:

  • form a network of local people confident in identifying the Asian Hornet
  • know how to report a suspected hornet
  • distribute literature in their area about the Asian hornet.
  • know how to set-up traps and advise the public about monitoring them
  • establish monitoring traps in their area or as directed by bee inspectors

The National Bee Unit may call upon the Asian Hornet Team if a confirmed siting results in a mobilisation to locate and destroy the nest. Last year, when an Asian hornet was discovered in Gosport, we were placed on ‘stand-by’ but in the end, were not required. Additional insurance is provided for team members and there is a quick multiple choice test to take. Test

If you would be happy to be part of the Asian Hornet team, please let Howard know by email; howard.towl@btinternet.com

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