As at the 6th July 2020 there have been 220 reports versus 246 this time last year, an 11% reduction.  Of those 220 reports the number of flying queens has stopped at 42 with the last queen sighted on 7th June, and the first worker picked up on 19th June. Since then all caught hornets have been assessed to check whether they are queens or workers. The important thing about workers is that they can then lead to tracking and hopefully the finding of the nest. 


So far this year the number of nests stands at 14 compared to 16 at the same time last year.


Some interesting details on the latest nests which demonstrates the variance of locations:


  1. A worker hornet in the house, followed by another a day later led to advising the reporter (a beekeeper) to inspect the property. Shortly after they reported Asian hornets entering the roof at the apex. The nest was in the space between the tiles and the roof membrane and was destroyed by pest controllers.
  2. On 17th June a single hornet was photographed on a bush. A trap was put up a few feet away. It wasnt until the 26th that Asian hornets turned up in the trap, accompanied by a comment that they seemed to be flying into the base of the bush. An investigation found the nest pretty much on the ground, under the bush. It was removed that evening.  It was a surprise that it took the hornets 9 days to find the trap a few feet from their nest.
  3. During the first tracking case of the year, a dead primary nest was found in a shed. It had a couple of dried larvae in, but was undoubtedly from this year.
  4. And only about 40m away from the previous nest, one was found … by a digger. The nest was either in ivy at the top of a bank or in the ground at the top of the bank, and its entrance covered by the ivy. A digger, excavating the bank inserted its bucket through the nest, dragging it down with a load of soil and stone. Needless to say the builders scattered! The nest was destroyed and a few bits of comb and soil covered hornets were retrieved but the queen was not found. Traps set up in place of the nest picked up a further 55 hornets. 
  5. As a result of the second tracking case of the year a nest was found in brambles. This one was fairly easily visible but others have been well concealed. Again this low-down nest illustrates their potential danger to gardeners, workmen and the general public.



Tracking has now started, earlier than last year with currently two cases at very early stages.  There are a number of solid sighting reports around the island and monitoring baits are up in all these areas but nothing can be done until a live hornet turns up that wants to show us the way to its home!


Trapping - Despite many wasps being trapped the decision was taken not to take down the traps. If we had, a number of hornets would not have been caught and therefore we would have missed the vital evidence that there was a nest somewhere in the area.  SO traps ARE serving a purpose … but it is imperative that they are monitored daily and the good guys are released.


Volunteers – With increasing numbers of worker hornets the intention is to induct new volunteers quickly and directly into managing a bait station .. so catch, mark, time, flight direction.


Alastair Christie

Asian Hornet Coordinator – Jersey

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