Asian hornet 'queen' sighting in Hampshire sparks search for a nest

A SEARCH to find a nest which could be home to Asian hornets has begun after a lone ‘queen’ was seen in Hampshire.

Wednesday, 3rd July 2019, 7:07 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd July 2019, 7:34 pm
A male Asian hornet. Picture: Gilles San Martin (labelled for reuse)

The National Bee Unit confirmed the sighting of a female Asian hornet in New Milton today – the first since October, 2018. 

A member of the public reported the find which agencies say is ‘likely to be a queen’, based on visual examination. 

Hampshire beekeepers have been urged to be ‘vigilant’ as further monitoring takes place. 

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Nicola Spence, deputy director for plant and bee health at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said: ‘By ensuring we are alerted to possible sightings as early as possible, we can take swift and effective action to stamp out the threat posed by Asian hornets.

‘That’s why we are working at speed to locate and investigate any nests in the New Milton area following this confirmed sighting.

‘While the Asian hornet poses no greater risk to human health than a bee, we recognise the damage they can cause to honey bee colonies and other beneficial insects.

‘Please continue to look out for any Asian hornets and if you think you’ve spotted one, report your sighting through the Asian hornet app or online.’ 

The last confirmed sighting of an Asian hornet was in Dungeness, Kent. 

If you think you have seen one, you can report it via the iPhone and Android app Asian Hornet Watch. 

Alternatively email [email protected] or go to tinyurl.com/y25bax5o.

All reports must include a photograph.