Asian hornets 'heading for Britain'

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Swarms of vicious Asian hornets may soon be heading across the Channel to attack the UK's bee colonies.

Defra said it feared the species had already, or was about to, spread to Britain during its peak season of September.

Speaking to the Today programme, Tim Lovett, of the British Beekeepers Association, explains why the Asian hornets could have a negative impact on our bee population.

He said: "The hornets are interested in honey, and they want to get in there as it's an easy source of nourishment. But of course, in getting in there they have to pass the guard bees at the hive entrance, there's a right royal punch-up takes place.

And generally speaking, because the hornet can sting without it losing its life, whereas when the honey bee stings that's it."

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Friday 6 September 2013.

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