Keep an eye out for Asian hornets
AFTER two confirmed sightings of Asian hornets in the last three weeks, islanders are reminded to stay vigilant on the lookout for the species.
Over the next few weeks, queen Asian hornets will be building their primary nests and raising the next generation of worker hornets.
The Asian Hornet Strategy places and emphasis on capturing queen hornets each spring, as dealing with a hornet queen and her small nest is much simpler than tackling the very large secondary nests that are invariably built high up in the treetops.
If they are not treated, these nests expand rapidly during August to September and can hold up to 5,000 hornets.
When undetected or left uncontrolled, Asian hornets may present an increased risk to the public as well as causing significant harm to our native insect populations as they are a voracious predator.
Last week, the fourth queen Asian hornet sighting of 2020 was confirmed by the Asian Hornet Team (AHT) in a garden on Les Querities, Castel, but evaded capture.
This follows a sighting of another queen Asian hornet on 9 May, which was filmed visiting geranium flowers in a garden on Route des Pecqueries, St Sampsons, which also escaped.
In an attempt to catch these queen hornets, specially modified traps have been set up in the vicinities of both gardens and are being regularly monitored by the respective residents.
These extra traps are in addition to the 270 that have been in operation since the beginning of April, set up every 500m across the island as part of the AHT’s annual ‘Spring Queening’ project.
Project coordinator at the Asian Hornet Strategy Francis Russel said: 'Throughout this lockdown period when more of us are spending time in our gardens and out enjoying the island’s wildlife it is really important to remain vigilant for Asian hornets and report any potential sightings swiftly so that we can check these out.'
She also asked people to check their outbuildings, sheds, verandas and porches to look for any of these early queen's nests.
- If you think you have discovered an Asian hornet, try to contain it, take a photograph and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org for confirmation, or call 07839 197012. For more information click here.