Numbers of Asian hornets have been growing over recent years; last year there was a huge increase in sightings. More Asian hornets were spotted in 2023 than in the previous six years combined.

The Asian hornet is a voracious predator of honeybees, with one hornet capable of consuming dozens of bees in a single day. This has grave implications for other species that rely on our pollinators, and in turn our wider ecosystem.

Currently, efforts to tackle this concern are in the ‘eradication’ stage of management. Any suspected sightings should be reported to the National Bee Unit, who will then track, trace and destroy any nearby nests. Reporting can be easily done via the official Asian Hornet Watch app which can be downloaded for Apple and Android devices from the app store.

While one hornet is unlikely to cause a problem, these insects are aggressively defensive of their nests, which can be built at the tops of trees or low to the ground in hedgerows and brambles and can be easily concealed by vegetation.

 

Updated June 2024