Today (10 September) there is coverage in the Daily Mirror, Daily Star, Wales Online after an Asian Hornet was spotted in the Gosport area of Hampshire. This is the first confirmed UK sighting since October 2019.
Beekeepers and members of the public have been asked to remain vigilant after the National Bee Unit confirmed the sighting. Monitoring is underway to detect any other Asian hornets in the vicinity.
The Asian hornet is smaller than our native hornet and poses no greater risk to human health than our native wasps and hornets. 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 nearby.
Defra’s Chief Plant and Bee Health Officer Nicola Spence 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 area following this confirmed sighting.
While the Asian hornet poses no greater risk to human health than other wasps or hornets, 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 should report this using the iPhone and Android app ‘Asian Hornet Watch’ or by using our online report form. Alternatively, e-mail email@example.com.
Please include a photograph if you can safely obtain one.
Identification guides and more information are available and if you keep bees you should keep up to date with the latest situation on the gov.uk sightings page and on BeeBase.