Islanders are being asked to be vigilant and report any possible sightings of Asian Hornets. These insects have caused massive destruction to honey bees, pollinators and fruit growers across France within the last ten years.
To date, there have been 13 confirmed sightings of the Asian hornet in England and six nests have been destroyed. Nine of these sightings occurred in 2018; including two in Hampshire last month.
Swift action has hopefully eradicated the hornets, but the Isle of Wight is within the danger zone. Natural Enterprise, who host the Isle of Wight Local Action Group that aims to stop the spread of invasive non-native species are working to raise awareness of this threat.
It is crucial that members of the public report any possible sightings so that experts can take quick and effective action to eradicate Asian hornets. If you think you’ve spot one, the sighting can be reported through the Asian hornet app or online at http://www.brc.ac.uk/risc/alert.php?species=asian_hornet.
Asian hornets have a dark brown or black velvety body, a yellow or orange band on fourth segment of their abdomen, yellow tipped legs are smaller than the native European hornet, which is not a threat. They are not active at night.
An identification guide can be opened here.
Image kindly supplied by Jean Haxaire