Vigilance urged after Asian hornets confirmed in Dover

(Photo: Defra)
(Photo: Defra)

Farmers, beekeepers and members of the public are being asked to remain vigilant after Asian hornets were spotted in the Dover area in Kent.

The National Bee Unit confirmed the sighting on Wednesday (19 July) and monitoring is underway to detect further Asian hornets in the vicinity.

The Asian hornet is smaller than the UK's native hornet and poses no greater risk to human health than native wasps and hornets.

However, they do pose a risk to honey bees and work is underway to monitor for any hornet activity and to identify any nests nearby.

There have already been several sightings of Asian hornet this year with this being the sixth confirmed UK sighting since April 2023, when a single Asian hornet was captured near Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Defra’s bee health officer, Nicola Spence said: “By ensuring we are alerted to possible sightings as early as possible, we can take swift and effective action to stamp out the threat posed by Asian hornets.

"That’s why we are working at speed to locate and investigate any nests in the area following the confirmed sightings in Kent.

“Please continue to look out for any Asian hornets and if you think you’ve spotted one, report your sighting through the Asian hornet app or online.

"Asian hornet nests will be smaller at this time in the year but we are still asking people to be vigilant.”

Farmers, land managers and the public who suspect an Asian hornet should report using the iPhone and Android app ‘Asian Hornet Watch’ or by using Defra's online report form.