The British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) is holding its fourth Asian Hornet Week 5-11 September and is asking the public to download a new version of the free Asian Hornet Watch app on their phones.
The app designed by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology says Asian Hornets are often confused with similar species and it has an expanded gallery of pictures allowing you to compare what you might be seeing.
Autumn is typically when the nests of the Asian Hornet are revealed by leaf fall from trees or bushes.
A BBKA spokesperson said: “Since our last awareness week two nests were found in October 2021 in Hampshire and Berkshire, and destroyed. This year in April a single hornet was captured at Felixstowe.
“Gene testing showed that both nests and the individual captured in Felixstowe had come from Europe.”
They added, “The two late season nests illustrate how “under the radar” these hornets can be, as neither nest was known about until the capture of an individual hornet followed by flight tracking back to the nest by National Bee Unit inspectors.”
Asian Hornets have big nests and are voracious consumers of honeybees and manyother insects too. They hang around in front of hives ( called ‘Hawking’) and pick off the honeybees as they emerge.
They make life so difficult for the honeybees that they stop collecting enough food or simply get eaten as they return, and the ecosystem of the hive breaks down.
That’s why BBKA are pleading with the public to download the free app; in case that big insect you spot on your favourite bush, that you do not recognise, is an Asian hornet.
Take a picture of it on your phone (but don’t get too close or you might spook them) and then go to the app to check whether you should upload it to make a report.
You can more information on the BBKA website:
See It! Snap It! Send It!
If you find a nest do not approach it, stay at least 20 metres away and take a picture.
It is crucial you report any possible sightings, so experts can take quick and effective action to eradicate Asian hornets. If you haven’t downloaded the app, then send your photos and videos to the Non-Native Species Secretariat (NNSS).