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Fears for British honey bees as a colony of deadly Asian hornets that can kill 50 of the insects in a DAY is discovered in Dorset

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Fears for British honey bees as a colony of deadly Asian hornets that can kill 50 of the insects in a DAY is discovered in Dorset

There are fresh fears for British honey bees after a colony of deadly Asian hornet was found on the south coast.
More than a dozen of the vicious insects, which can kill 50 bees in a day, were identified in Christchurch, Dorset.
In recent weeks individual Asian hornets have been sighted in Hampshire, Kent, Norfolk and Staffordshire but the discovery of a sizeable number of them in one place is a worrying development.

More than a dozen Asian Hornets, which can kill 50 bees in a day, were identified in Christchurch, Dorset. File photo 
The hornets can devastate native bee populations by laying siege to their hives.
They decapitate bees and take their bodies to their nest for their young to feed on.
Native to East Asia, the hornets arrived in France over a decade ago in a container of Chinese pottery.
Since then they have established themselves in French and decimated native bees.
The hornets have also spread to the Channel Islands and so far this year 65 nests have already been found and removed on Jersey.
A member of the public living in a suburb of Christchurch first reported seeing an Asian hornet in his back garden on Monday this week.
The call prompted a team from Defra's National Bee Unit to descend on the area and investigate.
Since Monday they have spotted more than 10 specimens. Several have been captured and marked to help the experts find their nest.
The officials are said to have set up a triangulation point around a fish bait in a bid to locate the nest.

Asian hornets (pictured) are more fearsome than our native species, and are native to temperate and tropical Eastern Asia
Mark White, the Asian Hornet Action Team coordinator for the south west, said: 'A member of the public spotted what he suspected to be an Asian Hornet near his ivy bushes on Monday.
'He took a photograph of it and sent it to the national bee unit and they confirmed the identification of an Asian hornet.
'A team has been dispatched to Christchurch and one Asian hornet was caught and sent away for analysis. There have been others seen since then, more than 10.
'This indicates there are nests in this area and our job is to find and destroy them. They live in colonies and when one is found there is likely to be more. We assume it is one nest but there could be others.'
Locating the nests can anything from a day to three weeks by using an usual technique.
Mr White added: 'We are using a check and trace technique by setting up a prawn or bacon bait to catch one which is then marked with a dot and released.
'The plan is that hornet will return to the bait every few minutes and fly off in a particular direction.
'We keep on moving the bait and if the times get quicker and quicker then we know we are in the right area. It's a bit like playing the game of hot or cold.'

The hornets can devastate native bee populations by laying siege to their hives. Pictured is a European honey bee  
The East Dorset Beekeepers Association has warned its members to 'take action' and report any sightings of Asian hornets that measures 30mm in length and have yellow legs.
Ivor Kemp, from the association, said: 'We hope Defra locate the nests before the queen go and hibernate for the winters and set up new nests next year.
'We are asking all our members must take proactive steps now. At the moment the hornets are extremely interested in the ivy that is now in season.
'If people have ivy in their garden they should play close attention and watch what is flying around it.
'Members can set up monitoring traps to catch them and trace their nest. We strongly advise that action is taken all over.'
He added: 'There are huge risks associated with Asian hornets which have been demonstrated in France where they have devastated the honey bee population.'
As well as bees, Asian hornets can be a danger to humans who are intolerant to hornet venom.
Last year a resident on Jersey nearly died from anaphylactic shock when the vibration caused by him pruning a hedge disturbed a nest and led to him being stung. 

Invasion of the Asian hornets? Why the insects are feared and how to spot one

Concern has been raised about the potential arrival of the Asian hornet in the UK as they are known to attack honey bees - numbers of which are already dwindling.
There are now just 25 native species of honey bee in the UK and numbers may be as low as 50,000 at the height of summer.
Some experts say the hornets eat as many as 50 bees a day, and Government scientists are drawing up a rapid response plan to combat the arrival of the deadly Asian hornet on our shores.

An Asian hornet caught in south-western France. Its sting can be seen protruding from near its rear legs 
The insects, which have the Latin name vespa velutina, are smaller than a British hornet, with queens growing up to 3cm in length, and workers up to 25mm.
Their bodies are dark brown or black, and bordered with a yellow band, while they have one band across the abdomen. Their legs are brown with yellow ends and they have an orange face.
They only fly during daytime hours, unlike the European species.
An Asian hornet's sting is thought to be no more painful than that of a British hornet to humans.
'There have been no confirmed sightings of Asian hornets in the UK – they are smaller than our own native hornets and are no more dangerous,' said a spokesman from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
'We are aware of the potential impacts they could have on honey bees and have plans in place to eradicate them if they are identified.
'In Great Britain we would not expect Asian hornets to establish outside southern parts of England and Wales due to colder weather.'