Latest News from BPCA

06 September 2017

Bayer issues warning to stay alert for Asian Hornets

Manufacturer and Distributor Member, Bayer, has urged Pest controllers to remain vigilant this autumn and report sightings of Asian hornets. The advice follows the first confirmed case of the invasive pest in the UK last September.

Bayer hornet banner

Richard Moseley, Bayer Technical Manager explains why the pests are likely to return this season.

“As part of the Asian hornet’s lifecycle, between August and October, fertilised queens leave the nest to find a secluded place to over-winter. This means that if they left before the nest was destroyed last September, they could have created a whole new population, which will peak in size again this autumn,” he says.

“Additional Asian Hornets could also be introduced into the UK at any time from Europe via transported goods and vehicles”

The reason why this is such an issue, is because of the threat posed to honeybee colonies.

“Asian hornets hover outside a colony and prey on individuals as they return to the hive, or act as a barricade to stop the bees leaving, until they starve, meaning they can make their attack on the weakened inhabitants.

“Not only does this cause a problem for commercial beekeeping, but it also upsets the ecological pollinating role provided by bees. And as Europe has seen a decline in bee population in recent times, it’s important to protect them.”

Richard points out that it is essential that even professional pest controllers do not attempt to deal with an outbreak, until permission is granted by Defra and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) as they are still a reportable species being monitored by these agencies.

In addition to harming bees, the hornets can pose a risk to humans, as they are known to be aggressive and carry a nasty sting that has already caused six reported deaths from anaphylactic shock in France.

For more information on Asian hornets, and how to report a case please visit National Bee Unit.

The BPCA Technical team also recommend using the Non-native species secretariat as a reference, who has produced an 'Asian Hornet Watch' App. 


Icon Image; CC GilesSM


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