'They decapitate their pray and feed corpses to their young' - killer Asian Hornets arrive in the UK

'They pounce on them, decapitate them, and drag them off' - Killer Asian Hornets arrive in the UK

Asian hornets have arrived in the UK (Wikipedia)

Thursday, September 22, 2016

"They pounce on them, decapitate them, and drag them off to their own nest to feed their young."

It sounds like something out of a cheap horror film, but it's now a daily reality in the UK - due to a vicious foreign member of the hornet family which is terrorising Britain's honey bees.

The Asian hornets have arrived in the UK and are scything through the local population, according to Tim Lovett, of the British Beekeeping Association.

Lovett told talkRADIO's Sam Delaney: "They turned up in France in about 2004, believed to come in on a consignment of pottery," he explained. "We've been enjoying warmer summers generally here, and finally here they are. We don't know whether they flew over or whether they came in on a consignment.

"They're very aggressive, they hang around outside the [honey bee's] hive and when bees are returning to the hive, they pounce on them, decapitate them, and drag them off to their own nest to feed their young, or worse still they can get into the hive where they munch their way through the young larvae and also get to the honey stock."

However Lovett had some comforting words about this ruthless insect predator.

"For the public they shouldn't worry too much, they're no better, no worse than the British hornet," he said.

Listen to the full interview to find out more

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