The first Asian Hornet of 2022 on the British mainland has been confirmed at Felixstowe in Suffolk. It was found in the shed of a beekeeper who keeps a sentinel apiary ( an apiary set up to monitor for diseases and pests).
Last year there were 2 Asian Hornet nests found on the mainland at Ascot in Berkshire and Portsmouth in Hampshire in October.
There has only been one other spring sighting of Asian Hornets at Bury in Lancashire in 2018.
Bee inspectors have set up enhanced monitoring in the area and are working to raise awareness with local beekeepers.
Felixstowe is Britain’s largest and busiest container port and one of the larges in Europe with links to more than 700 ports around the world, so the NBU says this immediately suggests a possible means by which the hornet could have arrived.
The National Bee Unit is carrying out enhanced monitoring and awareness raising together with local beekeepers after a single insect, confirmed to be Vespa velutina was killed at a sentinel apiary, reported by a beekeeper.
Further information regarding the yellow legged Asian hornet can be found on Defra’s Asian Hornet sightings page and on BeeBase’s Asian hornet page. Please direct all media enquiries to the Defra Press Office: 0330 0416560