Wildlife experts have warned it is ‘just a matter of time’ before Asian hornets appear in Britain to threaten the beleaguered bee population. More hostile than the native hornet, they can kill 50 bees a day to feed their larvae. Britain’s bees are thought to have fallen by a third since 2007. The hornets came to France accidentally in pottery 12 years ago, and from one nest spread to Germany, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Belgium.
The Asian hornet is likely to cross the Channel accidentally via imported pot plants, fruit, cut flowers and timber.
Camilla Keane, chair of the Wildlife and Countryside Link’s group on invasive species, said: ‘Like all invasive non-native species, once established the Asian hornet would be incredibly difficult and hugely costly to tackle.’ She added: ‘Sadly many other invasive species already wreak havoc in our countryside, and new invasive non-native species are arriving each year, so the issue is not going away.’ The Asian Hornet has a distinctive appearance – an almost entirely dark abdomen and yellow ends to its legs. READ MORE