Asian Hornet identified in Devon

Asian hornet (Vespa velutina)

The National Bee Unit has confirmed a sighting of the Asian Hornet (Vespa velutina) at an apiary near Woolacombe in Devon.  This is the first confirmed sighting since 2016, when a nest was discovered in the Tetbury area in Gloucestershire. Bee inspectors  promptly tracked down and destroyed the nest.

Work to identify, destroy and remove any nests is already underway, which includes:

  • Setting up a surveillance zone around North Devon.

  • Opening a local control centre to coordinate the response.

  • Deploying bee inspectors across the area who will use infrared cameras and traps to track hornets and locate any nests.

  • Readying nest disposal experts who will use pesticides to kill the hornets and destroy any nests.

A local control centre will be opened this week in North Devon and bee inspectors will be carrying out surveillance and monitoring initially in a 1-2 km radius around the initial sighting.  They will be supported by nest disposal experts who will use an approved pesticide to destroy any hornets and remove any nests.

Anyone who believes they have found a nest or sightings of an Asian Hornet should not go near it but report immediately to the GB Non-Native Species Secretariat.