The British Beekeepers’ Association (BBKA) is calling on the public this summer to help fight a major threat to honeybees and other pollinators – Asian hornets.
Numbers of the destructive insect, which can eat between 30 and 50 honeybees a day, are rising rapidly and more have been detected in the UK this year than in the previous six years combined.
Reports from Europe and Jersey indicate that this is an exceptional year for Asian hornets with record numbers of queens and nests.
The British Bee Keeping Association Chairman, Diane Drinkwater is urging the public to join forces with beekeepers to protect our honeybees and other pollinators from this voracious predator.
More than 1,000 beekeepers across the country are part of elite teams trained to provide emergency support to the National Bee Unit’s (NBU) hornet hunters.
Hornet sightings are filtered by the NBU, part of Defra, and teams of bee inspectors deployed to track hornets back to their nests which are then destroyed.
But ultimately our honeybees need the help of the eagle-eyed public to spot the hornets which may be devouring insects or feeding on fallen fruit or ivy flowers.
Asian hornets (Vespa velutina) are slightly smaller than native European hornets, have yellow legs, an orange face and brown body with one yellow stripe.
Any sightings should be reported as soon as possible via either the Asian Hornet Watch app or: https://risc.brc.ac.uk/alert.php?species=asian_hornet