Beekeepers learn how to control Asian hornet numbers from Jersey experts

Beekeepers are travelling from England to Jersey to learn how to better control Asian hornet numbers, as sightings of the insects increase across the country.

The invasive species prey on native bees, which can disrupt local eco-systems by destroying entire bee colonies and, in the process, impacting biodiversity.

Asian hornets have been present in Jersey since 2016.

Experts on the island trap, mark and release captured hornets before following their flight paths back to the nests which can then be destroyed.

Luke Whyatt, who came to the island from The London Beekeepers' Association, said it was important that different beekeepers work to "train our own troops".

He added it was important for associations to work together so "when the national beekeeper sends out an alert we have an army of people ready to take up the fight".

Chloe Underwood, from the Isle of Wight beekeeping association, said: "18 to 20 nests have been located on mainland England - there's none on the Isle of Wight yet but they're getting closer so we're really concerned that it's only a matter of time".

An Asian hornet nest of record size was discovered by a group who track the insects in Alderney Credit: David Jarolík

Asian Hornets have also been sighted on Alderney where the locations of individual insects and nests are logged by the Alderney Asian Hornet Group.

In recent weeks they have found multiple nests each day on the island, with the most recent measuring 23 inches from top to bottom. The group's organisers say they believe it is a record.

The method of catching then tracking Asian hornets back to their nests has also been taken up in other parts of Europe.

Senior scientific officer for invasive species in Jersey, Alistair Christie, said: "We need them (the hornets) to show us the way back to their nest and if they're managed properly that's what they'll do."

People are being urged to report any sightings of Asian hornet nests to the authorities.

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