JERSEY’S annual battle against Asian hornets has begun, with over four times as many queens caught so far this season than by this time last year.
By last May, the Jersey Asian Hornet Group – the volunteer team hunting the invasive insects – had caught 36 queens.
Asian-hornet co-ordinator Alastair Christie revealed the figure already stood at 185 so far this season, although he said this was partly due to a bolstered spring trapping programme designed to catch the initial wave of queens before they had time to make nests.
More than 300 traps are now being monitored by the volunteer team and members of the public across the Island, compared to around 215 traps last year.
‘There are definitely more queens out there but the increased number of traps is helping. I am very grateful for the members of the public who are helping to monitor them,’ Mr Christie said. ‘What we don’t know is how this will play out in the summer, but each queen we take out now helps. It is easier to catch them now because each one could have gone on to form a nest that ends up at the top of a tree, surrounded by thousands of worker hornets later in the year,’ he added.
The volunteer team last year discovered a record 174 nests, compared to 63 nests in 2021, 38 in 2020 and 83 in 2019.
Anyone who would like to help monitor a trapping kit or report an Asian hornet sighting can email email@example.com or call 441633.