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Now brace yourself for the return of Asian hornets! Warning issued after invasive insects are spotted in UK

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Now brace yourself for the return of Asian hornets! Warning issued after invasive sting bugs spotted in UK for the first time in five months

  • National Bee Unit urged beekeepers to ‘stay vigilant’ after one was spotted
  • The most recent Asian hornet was spotted in Chelmsford, Essex, in August this year
  • National History Museum says yellow-legged hornets can eat honeybees

Asian hornets ‘looting’ and killing beehives have been spotted in the UK for the first time in five months.

The National Bee Unit has urged beekeepers to ‘stay vigilant’ after one of the hornets was spotted in Chelmsford, Essex.

It is the first sighting of an Asian hornet since April, when one was found in Felixstowe, Suffolk.

And the Natural History Museum says the yellow-legged and striped hornets could be eating our honeybees.

The National Bee Unit has urged beekeepers to ‘stay vigilant’ after one of the hornets was spotted in Chelmsford, Essex. Stock image

Bee expert Gavin Broad told the Independent: ‘The hornets loot hives by sitting outside and catching workers as they go in and out.

“They chop them up and feed the thorax to their young.”

The hornets first came to Europe by accident when they were spotted in France in 2004 and are believed to have managed to enter the country with a cargo of goods from East Asia.

They are believed to have decimated the bee population in France and have since spread to neighboring countries.

And the Natural History Museum says the yellow-legged and striped hornets can eat our honeybees

And the Natural History Museum says the yellow-legged and striped hornets can eat our honeybees

Nicola Spence, chief plant and bee health officer at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), told the publication: ‘Ensuring we are alerted to potential sightings as early as possible will allow us to take swift and effective action to the threat of Asian hornets.

“That’s why we are working at high speed to locate and investigate any nests in the area after this confirmed sighting.”

Although the hornet poses no more of a health threat to humans than a European hornet, anyone who sees one is urged to report it to the authorities.

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