An Asian Hornet has been found by a member of the public in Bury in Lancashire. The hornet was found in a cauliflower which has been traced to Boston in Lincolnshire. 

Defra says Asian hornet poses a risk to honeybees and work is already underway to identify any nests, which includes setting up surveillance zones and traps in both identified locations and deploying bee inspectors to visit local beekeepers. 

This is the first confirmed sighting since last year, when a nest was discovered in Woolacombe in North Devon. That Asian Hornet incursion was successfully contained by bee inspectors who promptly tracked down and destroyed the nest. 

Nationwide network of inspectors

Nicola Spence, Defra Deputy Director for Plant and Bee Health said: 

“We recognise the damage they can cause to honey bee colonies. That’s why we are taking swift and robust action to locate and investigate any nests in the Bury and Boston areas following this confirmed sighting.” 

“We remain vigilant across the country, working closely with the National Bee Unit and their nationwide network of bee inspectors.” 

Surveillance zones

Bee inspectors from APHA National Bee Unit will be carrying out surveillance and monitoring in a 1-2 kilometre radius around the initial sighting. Additional monitoring and surveillance will be carried out in the Boston area where the cauliflower was grown. 

At this time of year, the hornet is likely to be a newly emerged queen which is looking to establish a nest. If a nest was established last year it would have died out over winter. 

Report a sighting 

If you suspect you have seen an Asian Hornet you can report this using the iPhone and Android app “Asian Hornet Watch’ where you will find clear identification pictures to make sure it is not a European Hornet or a Wood Wasp or by emailing: [email protected]

You can find lots of useful info on setting up an Asian Hornet Action Team on the BBKA website: https://www.bbka.org.uk/Asian-hornet-action-teams

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