UK set for invasion of deadly Asian hornets that can kill with one sting

Gilles San Martin / Flickr

The UK could face an invasion of Asian hornets this summer, after a record number were spotted.

The warm spring followed by wet weather has been the perfect breeding ground for bugs, and the deadly hornets have been thriving.

Asian hornets can kill with a single sting if you’re allergic to their venom, and they also pose a huge threat to our bee population, as they can eat up to 50 honey bees a day.

Gilles San Martin / Flickr

Eighty hornet queens have been spotted in Jersey so far in 2019, a huge increase on the four which were seen by this time last year.

Alistair Christie, who’s keeping track of Asian hornets on Jersey, said 13 ‘active nests’ have already been destroyed this year. In comparison, only 12 were destroyed in the whole of 2018.

Mr Christie told the Jersey Evening Post:

A lot of people are on high alert, which means the amount of reports is much higher than last year. So far we have had a total of 203 reported sightings of Asian hornets and of those, just 80 turned out to be a hornet – the rest were just wasps, bees and other pollinating insects. But while the increased amount of sightings is partly down to people being more aware, it is also undoubtedly due to the fact that there are more of them on the Island this year.

The hornets were accidentally let loose in France back in 2004, which is where they are thought to have travelled from.

And with the increase in sightings, there are fears they could soon spread to the UK mainland - an Asian hornet nest was spotted in Gloucestershire back in 2016, so it wouldn’t be the first time.

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