How you can help stop the UK invasion of ‘Murder Hornets’

Before this summer I’d only ever come across a Hornet when I got stung on a school trip. The sting area was the size of a golfball on my arm!

We’ve recently moved to a rural village, and get a lot more insects compared to living in the suburbs of the city of Leeds. One of which I am sure is a Hornet, but I’ll let the experts decide if this is the Asian variety. They. Are. Massive. And like A Bugs Life the horror show version, me and the kids watched as one caught and ate a butterfly, right in front of our eyes in the garden. I think all three of us screamed. Not quite country bumpkins yet.

Here’s one that was dying on our doormat at the end of summer, so we popped it in a pint glass to take a closer look. It’s at least twice the size of a normal wasp.

Buzz off

The Asian variety of Hornets can do some real damage to our beloved Bees, so here’s how you can help if you ever spot one.

A leading gardening site has launched an interactive map in a bid to record and track the spread of ‘Murder’ Hornets in the UK.

The map, created by Whatshed.co.uk, has been launched to help scientists record the spread of Giant Asian Hornets, commonly referred to as Murder Hornets. 

To see where sightings have been recorded, plus further information about the hornets or to record your own sighting, visit: whatshed.co.uk/giant-asian-hornet-uk-map/

It’s alleged the hornet was first spotted in Gloucestershire in 2016, but there is debate over whether this was the yellow-legged hornet, a smaller relative of the giant hornet. The Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has confirmed a total of 17 sightings of the smaller hornet in England, with the most recent sighting recorded in Dorset in October 2019.

Last month, a nest of 200+ hornets was discovered and destroyed by scientists in Washington, USA.

Vespa Velutina nigrithoras, or Giant Hornets, can be up to two inches long, with a potentially fatal sting that can cause anaphylactic shock in humans. The venom may not always lead to death, but can cause pain, swelling and kidney failure. However, humans aren’t the only species Giant Hornets are known to target, it also attacks colonies of honey bees and wasps, making its existence extremely detrimental to both the agriculture industry and the already dwindling population of bees worldwide.

Started as a solution for a frustrated landscape gardener struggling to find the best buy; WhatShed.co.uk is the largest independent buyers guide for garden buildings, tools and resources in the UK. With sheds of all different shapes, sizes and materials, WhatShed.co.uk also has the largest selection of garden sheds in the UK.

Kate Fromings from WhatShed.co.uk, said,

“Although we advocate for the kind treatment of all animals, the spread of Giant Hornets is not something that should be taken lightly. As well as the very real danger they pose to humans, swarms of so-called Murder Hornets can decimate a colony of honeybees in a matter of minutes, putting our crops and farms at risk if they are able to invade the UK successfully.

“Uploading sightings to this map will ensure that the necessary authorities can be contacted to confirm the sighting and handle the case properly, whilst also enabling scientists to carry out important research into the movements of this species. We’re asking people around the UK to keep an eye out for these dangerous creatures throughout the year.”

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