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Nature & Environment

Asian hornets begin appearing in the UK

By T.K. Randall
September 21, 2016 · Comment icon 5 comments

Asian hornets have been spreading across the globe. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Thomas Brown
Authorities have warned that this invasive species of hornet could decimate local bee populations.
While smaller than European hornets, these distinctive yellow-and-black insects have become increasingly widespread across central and southern France in recent years.

Now reports have confirmed that Asian hornets have also managed to gain a foothold in the mainland UK as well and that there is at least one hive somewhere near Gloucestershire.

While the insects don't pose any more risk to human health than regular wasps and bees, the primary concern is that they have a tendency to attack bee colonies which have already been struggling thanks to declining bee populations over the last few years.
Fortunately though, local authorities already have a plan in place to tackle the problem.

"We have been anticipating the arrival of the Asian hornet for some years and have a well-established protocol in place to eradicate them and control any potential spread," said Nicola Spence from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

"It is important to remember they pose no greater risk to human health than a bee, though we recognise the damage they can cause to honey bee colonies."

"That's why we are taking swift and robust action to identify and destroy any nests."

Source: Independent | Comments (5)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by freetoroam 8 years ago
While there have been no confirmed sightings of the insects in the UK, there are fears they could make their way across the English Channel.   Well, they are here now!   Defra said it had been anticipating the hornets' arrival "for some years" and had a "well-established protocol in place to eradicate them".   Better get their skates on, because they were first discovered here a few months back: this report from  13:50, 17 M... [More]
Comment icon #2 Posted by Lucas Cooper Merrin 8 years ago
Brick the tunnel up and save more than just bees
Comment icon #3 Posted by paperdyer 8 years ago
Now, Now, Now, Lucas.  You're starting to sound like an Englishman I work with.  He refers to the French and Welsh and Scots by "cute nicknames"  I'm part Welsh so he keeps calling me "Taffy" which is one of the nicer nicknames.  If you really want to get under his skin, refer to England as Britain or call him British.  He promptly corrects you back to English or gives you the famous Winston Churchill  "V" for Victory sign.  Then we'll go out and kill some brain cells.
Comment icon #4 Posted by bod 8 years ago
I saw a dead one I am pretty sure it was asian hornet as I lived in the tropics.  It was pretty big. I think they wont survive the winter. Wonder where the one I saw came from, maybe it was a stowaway loner.. To say they pose no risk to human life is BS. One could kill you. They hit like a truck and dont stop hitting! Pray their nest is not nearby! Bees are not aggressive but these things are.  they are nothing like bees at all lol More like african killer bees yeah...  wrong continent... where are these "experts" getting their education?  back of a postage stamp?  
Comment icon #5 Posted by seeder 8 years ago
whoa, see this nest    

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