Wednesday 06 October 2021
On Friday 1 October, the Asian Hornet Team successfully treated and removed a medium-sized Asian hornet nest from a bank of brambles, just inland from Belvoir beach on Herm. This is the first Asian hornet nest ever found on Herm Island.
The Asian Hornet Team had been investigating reports from visitors who had noticed hornets at different places around the island, including the garden at the Mermaid tavern, the coastal footpath and Belvoir beach.
At the end of September, a single Asian hornet was photographed scavenging on a dead rabbit carcass on the cliffs, but the most revealing information came from a local fisherman who observed a 'swarm' of around 30 hornets attracted to his bait fish.
The flight path of these hornets appeared to be heading inland somewhere over the top of the kiosk at Belvoir beach. The nest was subsequently discovered by the Asian Hornet Team suspended in thick brambles on a slope, off the side of the path, around 45m from the kiosk.
To treat and remove the nest it was necessary to close a section of the footpath; the Asian Hornet Team would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Francis Russell, Project Coordinator for the Asian Hornet Strategy, commented:
"Pinpointing a nest is always challenging but this one was found relatively quickly by tracking hornets returning from two different locations back to their single nest. We are grateful to everyone who contacted us with information, without which it's possible the nest could have gone on undetected. Thanks also to the gardeners on Herm who kindly helped in transporting all our gear and in putting up warning signs.
"In previous years we have found active nests up to the end of October, so there is still time to find more. It is always a race against time to find and destroy nests before they have raised the next generation of queens, at which point risks this invasive species becoming established on our islands - a very unwelcome prospect that would devastate our native species and make the work of controlling them in future years much more difficult.
"We strongly suspect there is still an active nest in the Vale and so, as always, we ask the public to remain vigilant and continue to report any sightings to us."
Suspected sightings should be reported to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07839 197082.