Asian Hornet hunters in Guernsey are taking a novel approach to locating their nests.
30 bait stations - made up of a jar full of sugary bait - will be set up in the gardens of volunteers to track the movement of the hornets across the island.
By monitoring the hornets as they come to feed, the team will then be able to pinpoint the area in which the nest is located.
There have been no reported sightings of Asian hornets in Guernsey for more than ten weeks. Only three queens were captured this spring compared with ten last year - but the team say they are not complacent as they know the species can go 'under the radar' and pose a greater threat in the future.
Even though things appear to be quiet on the Asian hornet front, we must always assume that there will be hornets nesting on the island somewhere that we don't yet know about. If it wasn't for an observant member of the public, we could so easily have missed the nest in town last autumn. It only takes one missed nest in the autumn for the populations to rapidly increase the year after.
If allowed to expand, individual nests can grow to hold as many as 5,000 hornets. The invasive species poses a major threat to pollinating insects such as bees and butterflies.
Anyone who sees Asian hornets or their nests should email their sighting details and photo to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07839 197082. More information about the species and the strategy to control them is available on the States' website.