Following the sighting in the Tamworth area of Staffordshire on Monday, please remember Asian hornet week will be running from 9th - 16th September

If you’ll be at home, then spend some extra time in your apiaries watching for this invader.  Make sure you have contact details for your local AHAT team, the Asian hornet app on your phone (through your App Store or the links are here), and the email reporting link (alertnonnative@ceh.ac.ukto the Non-Native Species Secretariat.  Don’t forget to try to safely get a photograph in preference to killing as this could be the only one and needs to be tracked back to the nest if identification proves to be positive.

If you are going abroad, before you go you might like to refresh or put up traps in your apiaries. This was actually how a sighting was discovered last year, so well worth the effort. If taking your own vehicle to go camping or in your motorhome don't forget to have a look in your equipment/vehicle when departing to make sure you don't unsuspectingly carry home an Asian hornet.

If you are holidaying in the UK, you could take some traps with you!  Some of my contacts take a Sutera monitoring dish with them wherever they go.  It is very simple to set up and the wasps are quick to respond, as would any Asian hornets in the area.  They take an old plastic bottle with a flip top lid to hold enough Sutera for a trip away, as well as a saucer and a circular piece of plastic with a pattern of drilled holes in to stop insects getting sticky feet in the monitoring dishes. The disc, cut from a plastic chopping board, sits flat in a saucer.  This means a small amount of Suterra remains effective for a much longer time, as only a tiny amount of the liquid is exposed to the air.  It is an expensive item and I would suggest an association or a county beekeeping organisation would be best to purchase it.  The AHAT team have given me the contact of Pest Control Direct in Hailsham, Kent as the supplier used last year.

It has also been noticed in the Channel Islands that the Asian hornet, along with other insects, are attracted to fennel plants with their seeding heads - so a plant to keep a watchful eye on.

I hope your traps are completely unsuccessful as I'm sure we would all take that as a good sign! 

Last week ivy was mentioned and I want to go into a little more detail on this in a couple of weeks but next week we can look forward to an update from Graham in Scotland on the Scottish heather harvest.

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