BEEKEEPERS ARE being urged to remain vigilant after an Asian hornet was spotted in the Ascot area of Berkshire.

The National Bee Unit confirmed the sighting on Friday, October 8, and monitoring is underway to detect any other Asian hornets in the vicinity.

The Asian hornet – which is smaller than our native hornet – poses a risk to honey bees. This is the first confirmed UK sighting since September 2020, when one Asian hornet nest was identified and destroyed near Gosport, Hampshire.

Defra’s Chief Plant and Bee Health Officer Nicola Spence said: “By ensuring we are alerted to possible sightings as early as possible, we can take swift and effective action to stamp out the threat posed by Asian hornets. That’s why we are working at speed to locate and investigate any nests in the area following this confirmed sighting.

“While the Asian hornet poses no greater risk to human health than other wasps or hornets, we recognise the damage they can cause to honey bee colonies and other beneficial insects.

“Please continue to look out for any Asian hornets and if you think you’ve spotted one, report your sighting through the Asian hornet app or online.”

Anyone who might suspect they have seen an Asian hornet should report this using the iPhone and Android app ‘Asian Hornet Watch’ or by using the online report form. Alternatively, individuals are encouraged to email