Asian hornet spotted in Hampshire
Recent reports of the Asian hornet have prompted people to be aware. A few sightings this year have been recorded, however this recent sighting in Hampshire has sparked professionals to reiterate to the public how important it is to be vigilant. They are asking the public to report any sightings where possible so the Asian hornet can be dealt with accordingly. This invasive predator is a huge threat to our honey bees in the UK. They can actually eat up to 50 honey bees in a day! We all know how important our bees are for pollination, so it is good to know what to look out for.
Below are some facts and information about Asian hornets;
- They are typically smaller than native UK hornets
- They have black/brown bodies with one yellow ring near the tail end, with yellow tipped legs and an orange/black face with red eyes
- First recorded sighting in the UK was in 2016
- They were most likely brought over to the UK in shipments of goods or suitcases by holiday goers
- Hornets eat a wide range of insects including flies and dragonflies, as well as honeybees
- They will nest openly in trees, their hive suspended over the ground attached to a tree branch
- They have a ‘sweet tooth’- they are attracted to sweetness and so enjoy feeding on overripe fruit and tree sap
- If their chosen prey is the honey bee, the Asian hornet will wait for worker bees to leave or enter the hive and attack, killing the bee and then return to its nest to feed its young
- Like most stinging insects, if the Asian hornet feels threatened, it will sting you
- The hornet, like the wasp can sting multiple times. This is because their stinger is not ‘barbed’ so does not get stuck once used
- If they feel extremely threatened, they will release a pheromone to signal to others nearby that there is an imminent threat and they need help
- The hornet sting is generally more painful to humans than a wasp or bee sting. If stung multiple times, this can have serious health implications and people have died from being swarmed
If you think you have seen a hornet or have found a nest, it is strongly recommended that you call in a professional to assist you. Here at West London Pest Control, we have the knowledge, training and protective equipment to deal with the problem efficiently and effectively.