Beekeepers across the West Country have been alerted after an Asian hornet has been found in Devon.
The hornet has spread across mainland Europe devastating bee colonies. The Asian hornet feeds off the honeybees and wild bees which pollinate the plants that provide us with food.
Professor Juliet Osborne of Exeter University has said that the Asian hornet can fly long distances and has caused severe problems for French beekeepers: “The Asian hornet is a voracious predator of honeybees, and has spread though France over the last 13 years. It also likes to feed off wild bees. It is now spreading to other countries in the EU.
“The National Bee Inspectorate did a fantastic job of containing an incursion last year, but I am afraid the hornets can fly over long distances. The chances are that we will continue to get more incursions as this species spreads.”