Asian hornets bound for mainland Britain after population booms in Jersey

Asian hornets are booming in Jersey, seen as an eventual stepping stone to mainland Britain.

The Asian hornet is a significant predator of bees and kills off native populations.

Their nests have a harmful effect on the pollinating insect ecology as well as posing a risk to islanders of being stung by nasty worker hornets.

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Last year 55 queens were caught in traps with a record 174 nests found. So far this year 438 queens have been caught with more still being found, trapped or reported.

Asian-hornet co-ordinator Alastair Christie said every queen caught by their 80-strong team of volunteers represented the potential of a nest that would not have to be dealt with later.

He said: “Every single queen that we take out now by trapping, or is caught by a member of the public, is potentially one less nest to deal with later on.

“It is an unprecedented, astronomical increase for us on the face of it but what we don’t know is the number we are not catching and the number that will go on to build nests.”

He said some Asian-hornet queens were still out and about and therefore vulnerable before they established nests.

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Asian hornets were inadvertently brought to France in 2004, most likely in a shipment of imported goods from east Asia.

In France, they has consumed large numbers of bees, including the well-known European honey bee and many lesser-known solitary and colonial bee species.

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