Asian hornets being removed from Alderney

Asian Hornet trying to get into a bee hive Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The Asian hornet is an aggressive predator and attacks bees and their hives

A nest of hornets that can kill up to 50 bees a day has been found in the Channel Islands and destroyed, the Alderney government has said.

The UK National Bee Unit said the Asian hornet was a "significant threat to honey bees and other pollinators".

The nest and larvae of the hornet, known as Vespa velutina, were destroyed as a precaution against them spreading.

Channel Island governments have been working together to stop the hornets taking hold.

The Guernsey Beekeeping Association warned members to "increase vigilance and monitoring of bee hives".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Asian hornet is slightly smaller than the native European hornet

Identifying an Asian hornet

  • Vespa velutina queens are up to 3cm (1.2in) in length; workers up to 25mm (1in)
  • Entirely dark brown or black velvety body, bordered with a fine yellow band
  • Only one band on the abdomen: 4th abdominal segment almost entirely yellow/orange
  • Legs brown with yellow ends
  • Head black with an orange-yellow face

Source: National Bee Unit

The Asian hornet has been described as an aggressive predator that is slightly smaller than the native European hornet.

A spokesperson for the States of Guernsey said: "Asian hornets frequently nest high in trees and if any suspect hornet nest is found the States of Guernsey will arrange for inspection and any necessary eradication."

Asian hornets were accidentally introduced to south west France in 2004 in a shipment of pottery from China and have been spreading northwards since.

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