A sighting of the invasive Asian Hornet, Vespa velutina has been confirmed by the National Bee Unit in Cornwall.
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. Previous outbreaks of the Asian hornet have been successfully contained by APHA bee inspectors, and work is already underway to identify any nests.
The latest sighting in the Fowey area of south Cornwall follows a sighting in April 2018 in the Bury area of Lancashire. The species first arrived from Asia in 2004 when it was recorded in France, and the first GB sighting was in Tetbury, Gloucestershire in September 2016. A single nest was found and eradicated and no subsequent sightings have been made in the area. A further sighting in Woolacombe, Devon, in September 2017 was also contained. More information about the most recent sighting can be found here.
If you suspect you have seen an Asian Hornet the sighting should be reported as soon as possible. More information on reporting sightings, identification and risk assessments for the Asian Hornet can be found here on the Non-native Species Sectretariat website.
Further to the Fowey sighting, the nest has since been located and destroyed by APHA. There have been two further confirmed sightings of Asian hornet, in south Cornwall, and east Yorkshire. At this stage there is no evidence to suggest the Cornwall and Hull sightings are linked.
A new nest has been located by the National Bee Unit in New Alresford, Hampshire. This latest nest has been destroyed, and the area is continuing to be searched for further nests.
More information can be found on the Defra website here.