Asian Hornet Alert in Kent by Tony Warren

Asian Hornet Alert in Kent by Tony Warren

Two Thursdays ago and on behalf of KBKA (Kent Beekeepers Association), I attended a meeting hosted by the Dover group, called to discuss their area status and problems. It very quickly became obvious that the Asian Hornets had established themselves and things have since moved very quickly. I am no longer part of the KBKA set up.

Myself and some others have set up a group to deal with recruiting volunteers, both public and beekeepers, to monitor across Kent (and hopefully eventually the whole of the UK) for Asian Hornets, to include simply being observant, to actively trapping to confirm finds and confirmation of other finds. To carry out organised trapping programs when an individual hornet is reported, spring queen trapping, through to tracking to find the nests themselves.

All sighting of individuals will be reported to Defra as required and tracking will be carried out on their instructions. Any problematic tracking, access issues or safety will be referred back to the NBU (National Bee Unit).

The aim is to manage this through a website, the spec of which is to agreed, this will follow on this blog. The aim will be to minimise the input of any single individual to spread the load out to the those in the field, plus a reporting process back to NBU.

Where we are currently;

We are fully on board with the NBU, working with and on good terms with BBKA, no contact with KBKA. NBU have told us that they want us to concentrate on publicity and building the group as outlined above, although I do need to formalise the terms of engagement going forward. Links at the footer of this email.

We have set up a Webpage (to be launched shortly), email, phone contact and Facebook account. We are now distributing traps and two different flyers to all Kent area leaders. These will be going out to public places and accompanying a trapping exercise being put in place now. The aim is largely, other than to find hornets, to capture the contact details of individuals interested, so that we can build the numbers with the immediate aim of having a comprehensive Queen trapping program in the spring.

The webpage is key, to store details and enable us to organise down to local group. The urgent need is for a basic introduction page plus a subscription for those interested in volunteering. Volunteering may just be as simple as setting a trap and checking it once a day. We are working hard to get the message out, but do not currently have any way of capturing it to a large number of people.

We are delighted that Laurence Edwards of Black Mountain Honey - YouTube has joined the team to push the message out, with videos covering training, information updates and more.

We encourage all beekeeper's to download the Asian Hornet Watch app and report any sightings. See it. Snap it. Report it. Here is a video from Black Mountain Honey showing you how to download the app and what to do -

We really appreciate your help and look forward to taking this forward with all beekeepers.

See it. Snap it. Report it. 

Email -

Phone - 07565 775020

YouTube -

Facebook Group - Asian Hornet Alert

App available on Android and iOS - search Asian Hornet Watch

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