At a meeting due to take place on Thursday between Education, Environment and the Island’s emergency services, it will be recommended that inspections are undertaken at schools in the coming days.
Since April 26 nests each containing thousands of the invasive insects have been found, with the highest concentration in St Saviour between Five Oaks and St Saviour’s Road, close to Highlands College and a number of primary and secondary schools.
The meeting has been called by Environment’s director of environmental protections Dr Tim du Feu.
‘We shall be recommending that schools conduct inspections of their premises, and in particular hedges, prior to their reopening,’ he said.
‘We also want to ensure that the emergency services are prepared if they get called out should a nest be disturbed when hedges are cut.
‘After the meeting we expect to make public awareness announcements to landscape and contract gardeners, farmers and landowners so they are prepared when they come to cut hedges in case they come across nests.’
Asian hornets first arrived in Jersey in 2016 and pose a threat to honey bees and other key pollinators and nests have been found in hedges, trees, sheds, the roofs of houses and a compost heap. However, with all hedges bordering roads and footpaths required by law to be cut for the forthcoming branchage, Dr du Feu says anyone undertaking hedge cutting should check for nests before starting work.
A man died recently in Spain from multiple stings after slicing through a nest while cutting a hedge, and a Frenchman met a similar death in the Loire in 2012.
Beekeepers and Asian hornet experts from the UK are currently in the Island helping to track nests to prevent this year’s population explosion escalating in 2019. The time is approaching when queen hornets will breed and leave nests to prepare to start fresh colonies next year.
Sightings of nests – and hornets – should be reported to Environment by calling 441600.