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Number of captured Asian hornets doubles

Number of captured Asian hornets doubles

Saturday 03 June 2023

Number of captured Asian hornets doubles

Saturday 03 June 2023

The Bailiwick’s ‘Spring Queening’ team has been unusually busy this year, with invasive queens found to be entering people’s homes.

More than double the numbers of the invasive insects being have been caught this spring compared to previous springs.

The highest number of queen hornets caught in the spring had been nine, but up to the end of May a total of 20 Asian hornets have been captured in Guernsey.

All parishes bar St. Saviour and St. Peter have been found to host hornets, with Vale and St. Peter Port having the greatest number of queen captures.

The States say the persistent northeast winds of late may be behind the higher numbers of migrations from France, with Alderney and Sark also seeing increases.

Francis Russell, Asian Hornet Strategy Coordinator, said it is unusual to see queens arriving into people’s “kitchens, conservatories, and bedrooms”, and said with similar winds for the coming weeks more queens are likely to arrive. 

The good news is that across Guernsey, Herm, and Sark the work of the Asian hornet teams has resulted in the capture of 36 Asian hornet queens.”

Mr Russell thanked all the volunteers, and members of the public, who help to identify, track, and trap the queens.


Pictured: This large nest was removed from Herm in 2021.

The Asian Hornet Strategy aims to prevent the invasive predators from establishing on the island to protect pollinating insects and the public.

Catching queens in the spring significantly reduces the chances of them successfully raising large colonies of worker hornets that are much more difficult to find and deal with in the autumn,” the States said. 

The trapping programme coordinated by the team will end on 10 June. Any surviving queens after this will be building their smaller nests in sheds and outbuildings during June and July before moving into taller trees where the main nests are constructed.

From then, the team will promote the next phase of the programme the Track don’t Trample campaign. The States advise that if you find a hornet, do not kill it. Instead photographs should be taken and the direction of travel observed to locate the nascent nests. 

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