Jersey’s Hosts Hornet Talks
Environment officers from across Britain and Ireland are gathering in Jersey to discuss dealing with Asian Hornets.
The island is hosting a British and Irish Council workshop with officers from the UK and France and scientists and Jersey experts sharing ideas for detecting and controlling the invasive insect species.
38 nests have been found across Jersey so far this year.
States officials want to show off the island’s approach, which involves equipping volunteer beekeepers to track and destroy the nests.
Asian Hornets will inevitably reach the UK, and Jersey’s Natural Environment Director Willie Peggie says the country can learn from local efforts:
“We should all be proud of our public/private partnership, and what it has achieved to date. However we have to accept that the eradication of Asian hornets is not a realistic goal as Jersey is most likely to be re-invaded by queen hornets from France each spring. Instead we must help Jersey beekeepers to adapt their management strategies to keep their bee colonies and apiaries as safe as possible, and the States must build the expertise, infrastructure and capability to react rapidly to reports of nests that might pose public health risks.”
Talks are ongoing about the future funding that will be needed to continue to deal with the ongoing threat of Asian Hornets to the honey-bee population and other pollinators.
The first Asian hornets were seen in the Channel Islands in 2016 following their spread through France, where they had been accidentally introduced in 2004.