Invader Alert

Have you seen this invader?

A swarm of a potentially lethal species of Asian hornet that can grow to four times the size of British honey bees could be heading towards the English Channel. It has recently arrived in France where it is spreading rapidly. As well as a devastating sting, the hornets also attack native honey bees, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The places it is most likely to be found are in southern parts of England as it may be able to cross the channel from France or in goods among which it could be accidentally imported (such as soil with imported pot plants, cut flowers, fruit and timber).

If it gains a foothold it will be bad for honey bees, native insects and pose a threat to human health. August and September are the months when it is most likely to be seen. It is relatively easy to identify and also makes large distinctive nests (often high up in trees). The Government takes this issue seriously and has drawn up a plan to try to eradicate this species before it can establish in Britain. To do this, they need to find out immediately if it is spotted in this country. If you think you have seen this species please report your sighting straight away via the Alert system: alert_nonnative@ceh.co.uk

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