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New App To Tackle Asian Hornets

We will be able to report Asian Hornet sightings via an app this summer.

It's hoped the technology will help teams target nests in the fight against the invasive insects.

An action plan has been put together and beekeeper Alastair Christie has been appointed as Asian Hornet co-ordinator.

55 nests were found and destroyed last year.

Mr Christie says it's impossible to know how much bigger the problem will be in 2019.

"I have heard estimates of possibly up to 150 nests, we have to wait and see. We won't get a sense of what the picture is until around late May, when people start finding the primary nests the hornets build.

"They may find them in their garages, car ports and eaves of buildings."

The new co-ordinator, who has been a beekeeper for 17 years, is tasked with bringing together volunteer Hornet hunters and experts to combat the threat from the invasive insect.

He says they'll have to be organised.

"I would hope that the response is a bit more efficient and the information that's given out to the teams on the ground is a bit clearer - so for example we don't have two teams working in roughly the same area chasing the same nests."

The Asian Hornet first arrived in Jersey in 2016 and the National Bee Unit will be sending two teams of six UK Bee Inspectors to Jersey in August.

Environment Minister Deputy John Young secured government funding for the work last year.

He says it's a situation government is taking seriously.

"Mr Christie’s appointment as part of the Asian Hornet strategy highlights the important issue of this invasive species.

"We need to recognise and continue to resource this growing work stream properly if we want to take the protection of our environment seriously.

"As a local beekeeper and land manager, Mr Christie has the qualities needed to deliver this important role alongside Government of Jersey officers and the Jersey Asian Hornet Group, who we are indebted to for their continued voluntary commitment."

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