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Rise in sightings of invasive Queen Hornets

Rise in sightings of invasive Queen Hornets

Monday 07 June 2021

Rise in sightings of invasive Queen Hornets

Monday 07 June 2021


The arrival of warmer weather has resulted in numerous sightings of Asian Hornet Queens.

The first positively-identified Asian Hornet of the year was caught in a trap opposite Pulias Pond in the Vale on 21 April.

There were no more sightings until the recent Bank Holiday. Since then, three Queen Hornets have been captured. 

Because of the recent influx in Hornets - which are suspected to have flown over from France - islanders are encouraged to remain vigilant for Queen Hornets, which may be found constructing nests in sheds or outbuildings.  

"We cannot emphasise enough the important role played by members of the public in reporting potential Asian hornet sightings or looking out for small nests made by the queens at this time of year," said Francis Russell, Project Coordinator for the Asian Hornet Strategy.

asian_hornet_nest_dissected_hornets.jpeg

Pictured: An Asian Hornet Queen's Nest nest can hold as many as 5,000 hornets, which present a risk to the public and significant harm to our native insect populations, such as bees. 

On Monday 31 May, a Queen Hornet was trapped in a garden on La Mazotte, Vale. On Wednesday 2 June, another was captured in a cottage garden on Route Des Coutanchez, St Peter Port.

On the same afternoon, a Hornet was photographed by a walker where it was spotted resting on the tarmac in Le Friquet, before flying over a hedge in a westerly direction.

The following morning, the trap volunteer on La Maison Au Compte, Vale phoned in to report his trap had picked up a Queen Hornet. The suspicion is that this may well be the same one seen the day before as the trap is located just 300m from that location. 

Mr Russell said early detection is vital to the island's efforts to combat the invasive species. 

“The early nest made by the queen hornet is similar in appearance to those made by a queen wasp. It is usually found on a sheltered rafter or ceiling, made of a pale brown papery material and starts off about the size of a golf ball.

"If you have any doubt about what you have seen/found, please try to take a picture and get in contact – we will be more than happy to help you identify it. 

“Our aim is to ensure that we can keep the populations of Asian hornet as low as possible, to protect public health and the Island’s biodiversity. We remain especially grateful for the assistance of the volunteers involved with the Spring Queening project and to all Islanders who play a part in helping us detect and capture this invasive species.” 

The Asian Hornet Team can be contacted at asianhornet@gov.gg or on 07839 197082.

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