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Bee-keepers warned as Asian hornet spotted in Hampshire

Bee-keepers warned as Asian hornet spotted in Hampshire

Published by Lucinda Horsley at 6:19am 4th July 2019.

Bee-keepers are being urged to remain vigilant after an Asian hornet was spotted in Hampshire.

The National Bee Unit confirmed on Wednesday (July 3) that there had been a sighting of one in New Milton.

It was reported by a member of the public and experts say it is a female and 'likely to be a queen'. 

Monitoring is underway to detect any other Asian hornets in the vicinity and local beekeepers are warned to keep an eye out. 

What is an Asian hornet?

The Asian hornet is smaller than our native hornet and poses no greater risk to human health than a bee.

However, they do pose a risk to honey bees and work is already underway to monitor for any hornet activity and to identify any nests which may be in the vicinity.

This is the first confirmed sighting since October 2018, when a sighting of an individual hornet was confirmed in Dungeness, Kent.

Nicola Spence, Defra Deputy Director for Plant and Bee Health, 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."

If you suspect you have seen an Asian hornet you can report this using the iPhone and Android app ‘Asian Hornet Watch’ or by using an online report form.

Alternatively, you can email alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk. Please include a photograph.

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