'Invasive' Asian hornets spotted in Portsmouth

RESIDENTS are being reminded to report any sightings of an ‘invasive’ insect after a nest was found in Portsmouth.

Photo issued by Defra of an Asian hornet. A sighting of the invasive Asian hornet which preys on honeybees has been confirmed in Portsmouth
Photo issued by Defra of an Asian hornet. A sighting of the invasive Asian hornet which preys on honeybees has been confirmed in Portsmouth

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs confirmed an Asian hornet nest was found in the city on October 29 and destroyed two days later.

It is the second sighting of Asian hornets, which prey on honey bees, in the UK during 2021.

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The Great Britain Non-Native Species Secretariat described the hornets as an ‘invasive non-native species from Asia.’

In a species alert they said: ‘It arrived in France in 2004 where it spread rapidly. As a highly effective predator of insects, including honey bees and other beneficial species, it can cause significant losses to bee colonies, and potentially other native species.

‘It is important to report any suspected sightings of this species as soon as possible.

‘Vigilance is particularly required in southern parts of England and Wales and around major ports. The Asian hornet is active mainly between April and November (peak August/September) and is inactive over the winter.’

There have been a total of 21 confirmed sightings of Asian hornets since 2016. This figure includes a total of 12 nests, all of them were destroyed.

Among them was a sighting in Gosport in 2020, where the nest was destroyed on September 11.

To report a sighting you can download the Hornet Watch app on your phone or email them details and a photo on [email protected]

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