Asian hornets survive UK winter for first time

Asian hornet

A recent study has revealed that Asian hornets have managed to survive the winter season in the United Kingdom for the very first instance.

Asian hornet - Figure 1
Photo Sky News

Even though it is not considered proof of a steady insect population, authorities are advising people to notify them of any noticed sightings of the bugs throughout the summer period.

Nature advocates are issuing a warning of a potential increase in non-native species that may be harmful to the ecosystem.

In the UK, there were a large number of sightings of the hornet last year.

The honey bees and other insect pollinators are facing a serious threat from Asian hornets which possess the ability to consume approximately 50 honey bees in a single day. However, the danger these hornets pose to people's health isn't any more severe than that of our own native hornets.

DEFRA, which stands for the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs, stated that trapping in the early stages is essential in getting rid of the problem.

According to the Wildlife and Countryside Link, a group that represents 83 nature organizations, there has been a rise in the likelihood of troublesome species growing and spreading in the UK due to recent floods and rising temperatures.

The National Bee Unit conducted a genetic examination which discovered that three queen Asian hornets were the offspring of a nest that was demolished on November 15, 2023.

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Before the Chelsea Flower Show took place last month, Defra had already suggested that the insects might have survived during the winter.

According to a representative, the National Bee Unit is still working hard to eliminate the presence of the Asian hornet in the United Kingdom. They have recently implemented trapping in locations that are at a higher risk of having Asian hornet queens overwintered.

The genetic study has established overwintering for the initial instance.

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