The nation’s smartphones are the latest weapon in the fight to prevent the spread of the Asian hornet, thanks to a new app which has been launched today.
People will be able to use the free app - called Asian Hornet Watch - to quickly and easily report possible sightings of the invasive species and send pictures of suspect insects to experts at the National Bee Unit.
While Asian hornets pose no greater risk to human health than a bee, they are a threat to our native honey bees, which is why it is important to quickly contain them.
By using the eyes and ears of smartphone users, we can more quickly identify any Asian hornet nests in the UK and eradicate them before they have the opportunity to spread.
The Great Britain Non-native Species Secretariat is a joint venture between Defra, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government to tackle the threat of invasive species.
More information can be found on their website http://www.nonnativespecies.org/home/index.cfm
For details on the appearance of an Asian hornet please can be found on Bee Base guide or the non-native species identification guide.
Asian Hornet (Vespa velutina)
17 March 2017 update:
SG today confirmed that a single Asian Hornet, Vespa velutina had been identified at a retail warehouse in the central belt of Scotland. The Asian Hornet is a non-native species and a serious predator of honey bees and other pollinators which has recently become established in Europe. There are no more public health risks associated with Asian hornets than with other bees or wasps.
Asian hornets were first identified in the GB during autumn 2016, that outbreak was dealt with and no further reports have been confirmed since. It is not possible to identify the origin of this individual and no further sightings have been made, however for surveillance purposes SG has placed Asian Hornet traps in the area and alerted the pest control industry and beekeepers to be vigilant for this species