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 Asian Hornet

Asian Hornet hotline  07561147193

Beekeeper with Bees

Beekeeper Tips

AH primary nest.jpeg

Asian Hornet primary nest

AH secondary nest.jpeg

Asian Hornet secondary nest


Asian hornets (AH) are a potential threat for local beekeepers. To date the sighting and finding of AH nests have been very few in the area. But three were found and destroyed in the east of the New Forest in 2023. Sadly we have now reached the stage of ‘not if it happens but when’.


What can I do?

There are steps beekeepers can take to help with spotting, capturing, formal identification and tracking the hornets.


•   Every beekeeper should set up a monitoring trap outside your back door you can easily check daily - the kitchen window sill is ideal. Make sure any trap is not near your hives. You should ideally set up the trap from when the weather warms up usually the latter half of March and continue to monitor to the end of November

•   Observe your hives for hawking by an AH from August onwards when you visit your apiary.

•   If you capture or see an AH, take a photo, report it via the free Asian Hornet app (apple & android). Remember to take down a What3words location as well as a grid reference as postcodes cover a large area in the New Forest.

•   Then kill the AH - the most effective method is putting it in a plastic bag and freeze it. If the hornet is in your trap then do not attempt to remove, place the whole trap in the freezer. Keep the dead AH in the freezer until you receive further instructions from the National Bee Unit or another government office. Please note it is illegal to release an Asian hornet back into the wild.

•   The National Bee Unit has a team of trained people who will lead the tracking and removal of any nests in the area. Please do not try and remove a nest yourself.

•   Finally, let your committee know - by calling the SWHBK swarm line 07561 147193. They can then notify all our members quickly if the sighting is confirmed.

Identifying Asian Hornets

SWHBK has a small Asian hornet action team who will focus on assisting members where possible. Let us know if you are interested in joining the team by emailing . The team will focus on how we can best monitor the AH threat and how we can protect our bees from this threat.


Numerous organisations have produced guidance for identifying, capturing and preventing the AH accessing your hives. If you wish to know more here are some links for you to look at:


•   Hampshire Beekeeper Association (HBA) have produced some monitoring and trapping guidance for all members to use. Please note this is an evolving document and will keep changing.

•   BBKA have set up a dedicated Asian hornet section on their website which provides useful information.

•   Traps and lures - you can buy these from beekeeping suppliers or make your own. Here are some ideas how to make your own from the NBU. We recommend you place a j-cloth soaked with attractant in the bottom of the trap if you haven’t got space for a container.

How do I keep up-to-date?

We will regularly update members via the newsletter, plus the SWHBK Facebook page and in the news section of the website. You can also find out news on Beebase, the BBKA and join Facebook groups such as the Asian Hornet Action team , HBA (members only) .

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