Asian hornets: New threat
ASIAN hornets have started building nests at ground level – posing a new threat to Islanders.
Until recently the invasive insects, which have become established in the Island after arriving from the continent last year, have created nests high up in trees or on the side of properties.
Now a nest has been found at ground level in brambles in Rue de Samarès. Following the discovery, people are being warned to be extra vigilant when clearing brambles or picking blackberries, as Asian hornets will swarm if disturbed.
Tim du Feu, head of environmental protection for the Environment Department and president of the Jersey Beekeepers’ Association, said it was the first time a nest had been found low to the ground.
And he warned anyone who might come into contact with brambles, for example if they are clearing an area, to take the time to stop and see if there are any hornets around first.
‘It is extremely usual in so much as it was found in brambles.
‘We started off finding them in the tops of trees as the textbooks said we would – the last one we found as in a small apple tree in someone’s garden.
‘Now with this one in brambles it means they could be anywhere,’ he said.
As well as packing a nasty sting, Asian hornets are considered a major threat to honey bees. One Asian hornet can eat up to 50 bees a day.
On Wednesday pest controllers wearing extra-thick beekeeping suits pumped insecticide into the nest, which was due to be removed on Thursday.
Sightings should be reported to Environment by calling 441600.
Anyone who finds a nest is warned not to disturb it and report it immediately.
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