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Warning over potential influx of hornets
IT’s big, bad, potentially lethal and thousands could now be heading for Hampshire.
Insect experts have warned that the Asian hornet may be on its way to these shores from France.
They also say the insects target honey bees and have urged keepers to be on their guard.
Last year the hornets stung a 54-yearold father of three to death in France, after he disrupted a nest in the Loire Valley.
Known as Vespa Velutina Nigrithorax the hornets are believed to have arrived in Europe on container ships from China in 2004.
It is now feared the insects may be on their way across the Channel and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is urging people to report any sightings.
The Hampshire Beekeepers Association which has 1,000 members will be giving wasp traps for beehives to all the members.
Treasurer of the association, Jim Steward, said: “We are all worried about the species coming here, but it has not come to this country yet and we have not seen one.
“We are poised and are arming our hives with wasp traps, because if you trap the queen hornet then you can stop the swarm.”
The species are smaller than European hornets and Defra issues a statement that urges people to be vigilante.
And it has asked anyone who thinks they have seen an Asian hornet to notify the GB Non Native Species Secratariat alert at the email address email@example.com immediately.
Additional reporting by Polly Holmes
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