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August 2021

Up to the date this was written there have been no confirmed sightings in mainland Britain. In contrast our friends in Jersey have found 22 nests – primary or secondary and in excess of 100 sightings this year. Up from 2020 already.

This year they have found secondary nests not only high up in the trees as normal, but also in hedgerows/underground and in the eaves of sheds/garages.

Secondary nest in tree
Nest in hedgerow
Underground nest

The other interesting development is that in a couple of cases the primary nest has then built up and become a secondary nest, not previously seen on the island.

Secondary nest built around primary nest

We are asking everyone to remain vigilant especially now more people are travelling abroad again.  These hornets like to hop on the ferries and yachts and hitch a ride to the mainland. Only the other week we saw bumble bees hitching a ride on the ferry between Lymington and Yarmouth, it’s that easy.

The Asian hornet app provides a useful guide to spotting the differences between similar insects. Currently people are confusing the yellow legged (Asian) hornets, European hornets and the hornet mimic hoverfly.

Asian Hornet week is taking place 6-10 September.

We would like everyone to support us by putting up Asian hornet guide posters in their local community. We will be handing these out at the next members’ meeting on 8 September, however please contact Jenny on ahat@swhbk.org.uk if you would like some sent to you in advance.

More information on the week can be found at https://www.bbka.org.uk/event/asian-hornet-week-2021 .

All photographs courtesy of the Jersey Asian hornet Facebook group

July 2021

Asian hornet update – no confirmed sightings in England as yet but do have a read of this article. The north east coast of Jersey is closest to the French coast where they destroyed 1000s of yellow legged (Asian) hornets last year!

May 2021

The yellow-legged (Asian) hornet is well and truly active in Jersey.  The season has started late this year but with a vengeance. They have found 47 single queens compared to 33 by 16 May last year. However, they have only found 4 nests compared to 7 this time last year. Whilst it is difficult to draw firm conclusions the season is very late this year with cool weather. They have also had plenty of north-easterly winds potentially blowing in hornets from mainland France.

Worryingly a dying queen was found in Dublin, they believe arriving in a fruit container shipped from Cherbourg in France. Given the amount of shipping coming into Portsmouth, Southampton and Poole we need to be extra vigilant. Please check any sheltered and dry areas such as sheds, wood stores etc for the golf ball sized nest.

photo courtesy of Jersey Asian hornets group

April 2021

Jersey has reported that they have only found two yellow-legged (Asian) hornet queens so far this year. In 2019 and 2020 by 12 April they had already found eight individual queens and two primary nests.

Have they conquered the Asian hornet invasion or has lockdown had an impact? No neither,  the temperatures are much lower than previous years so they are late coming out of hibernation.

So, start looking when the weather warms up from later this week onwards. Here are pictures of two primary nests found inside lean-to-structures in Jersey. They are only the size of a golf ball!

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