Scientists hunting Asian hornet—invasive ‘honey bee killer’ spotted in U.K.

| | September 7, 2018

An Asian hornet sighting has been confirmed in Cornwall, sparking a hunt for the honey bee killer’s nesting sites. The predatory species was spotted in the Fowey area, officials from the National Bee unit said. Inspectors have been carrying out surveillance and monitoring since, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) said.

It follows an earlier sighting in Lancashire earlier this year. It was first seen in Jersey in 2016, and has since been seen in north Devon.

Nicola Spence, from Defra, said a “well-established protocol” was in place. She said: “That’s why we are taking swift and robust action to locate and investigate any nests in the south Cornwall area following this confirmed sighting.

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Asian hornet expert Prof Juliet Osborne, from the University of Exeter, said the sighting was “concerning”. She said: “This suggests that further sightings, particularly in the South West of the UK, are highly likely and we must all be vigilant.

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