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Asian hornet found in Jersey

16 August 2016

An Asian Hornet (Vespa velutina) has been confirmed in the Island.

The insect was photographed on 9 August 2016 by an amateur entomologist (insect expert) at Mount Bingham, St Helier, and later confirmed by the Department of Environment’s Head of Plant Health, Scott Meadows, and the UK National Bee Unit. The area has been searched and no further hornet activity has been seen.

It follows the discovery of a small colony of Asian Hornets in Alderney a fortnight ago.

The Asian Hornet is spreading through Europe. It is a highly aggressive predator of native insects and poses a significant threat to honey bees and other pollinators. It also feeds on other insects, fruit and flowers.

The Department of Environment, in collaboration with Jersey beekeepers, has been monitoring for the Asian Hornet for more than five years and none have been detected.

All Channel Islands are working together and have stepped up monitoring and trapping programmes.

The Asian Hornet is slightly smaller than the native European Hornet (Vespa crabro). It is not easily confused with any other species, it is the only hornet or wasp with an entirely dark brown or black velvety body, bordered with a fine yellow band.

The Asian Hornet presents no greater threat to human health than native hornets but people should be cautious if they suspect Asian Hornets in the area.

The Department of the Environment advises people not to disturb an active nest – they are usually found high in trees and man-made structures but sometimes closer to the ground.

People who suspect they have found Asian Hornets or a nest should send a photograph (if possible) and location information to j.pinel@gov.je or agriculturalInspectors@gov.je or telephone the Department of the Environment.

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