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BBC coverage of Asian hornet threat to UK

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A picture of an Asian hornet on a flower

There has been video coverage in BBC Online on the threat posed by Asian hornet invasions to the UK mainland. The piece notes that the species has been spreading across Europe over the last two decade with recent sightings in the Channel Islands.

Asian hornets are smaller than our native hornet and pose no greater risk to human health than a bee. However, they do pose a risk to honey bees and pollinating insects. There have been no confirmed sightings in England since 1 October 2019.

The article carries our briefing that people should who suspect they have seen an Asian hornet should report this using the ‘Asian Hornet Watch’ app (iPhone / android).

If a sighting is confirmed, experts from the National Bee Unit (NBU) and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) will work quickly to find and destroy any active nests in the area. Since 2016, there have been a total of 17 confirmed sightings of the Asian hornet in England and nine nests have been destroyed.

A Defra spokesperson 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.

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.

There is a rolling information page on which is updated with all the latest information on sightings and nest eradication in the UK.

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