Deadly Giant Asian Hornets set to Invade the UK
The GB rapid response protocol have issued this statement:
"Vespa velutina, sometimes known as the 'Asian hornet’ is an invasive non-native species from Asia. It has recently arrived in France where it is spreading rapidly. As a highly effective predator of insects, including honey bees and other beneficial species, it can cause significant losses to bee colonies, other native species and potentially ecosystems.
The places it is most likely to be found are in southern parts of England (it may be able to cross the channel from France) or goods among which it could be accidentally imported (such as soil with imported pot plants, cut flowers, fruit and timber). Active months between April and November (peak August/September). Inactive over the winter, so the most likely time to see this species will be early next year.
Sightings should be reported, along with a photograph and details of where you saw it, to: email@example.com
If possible, send in a sample to the National Bee Unit for examination to confirm identity (details at: www.nationalbeeunit.co.uk). However, do not under any circumstances disturb or provoke an active hornets’ nest."
Some nests have already been spotted in Brittany, France, which is not very far from the UK.
This extremely aggressive species can kill some people and a whole nest of bees. They release a poison that dissolves human tissue. When someone is stung, the poison can attract even more wasps.
The hornets are orangey yellow and dark black, thumb sized and have three inch wing span and they can move very fast at 25mph. They can nest in sheds, and even on the ground.
It is recommended that medical attention is sought quickly and antihistamines taken. Please also people aware, especially those in the southern part of England.
UPDATE 12/8/13 Beaulieu has contacted Brittany Ferries and they responded quickly on Twitter:
@beaulieuonnp Thanks for this Beaulieu, we will investigate to see what we can do. ^CJ
Beaulieu also contacted BBC Radio Kent, Portsmouth News, the British Medical Journal, Kent County Council amongst others.
The Inventaire National du Patrimoine Naturel in France have released a map of France showing where they are. (Nowpublic does not allow links but you can tweet me on @beaulieuonnp )