Deadly Asian Hornet 'seen in Scotland', yet not is all as it seems
Defra believes otherwise as not one official sighting of the Asian Hornet has been verified in the UK (picture: Danel Solabarrieta)
A species of aggressive hornet not native to the UK has reportedly been spotted in Scotland – or has it?
Workmen in Fife were shocked to discover what they say was an insect “two to three inches long” with a sting “the length of a needle.”
Asian hornets (Vespa velutina) are predators originally from China, which were introduced to the south of France within a delivery of pottery in late 2004.
The species has killed six people in France since its arrival, having caused an anaphylactic shock in its victims - its sting is slightly fouler solely due to its size, which is larger than a normal bee.
However, it is a much larger threat to the honey bee – causing significant losses to colonies.
It can grow up to 3cm and has a black/dark brown thorax.
Considering that Andrew Allan, 30, from East Kilbride, said he saw a hornet considerably larger than the one feared to be making its way towards the Channel, it’s more likely he saw its larger European equivalent - the “hornet” (Vespa crabro) or a Horntail.
He told the Daily Record: “We were just working away, doing some stone repairs, when we saw this massive thing buzzing about. I could not believe my eyes. My mate didn’t want to take any chances so he hit it with a hammer.”
A spokeswoman for The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) told The Independent: “It’s very unlikely that [the Asian Hornet] would be in Scotland.
“We’d had quite a lot of reports from the public of Asian Hornets but not a single case. We’ve not had an Asian Hornet in the UK yet.”
She added that alerting beekeepers to the possible arrival of Asian Hornets had led a flurry of worried homeowners getting concerned that they, too, had spotted one.
In addition, a deadlier species - the extremely venomous Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia) – has not set foot in Europe at all, she confirmed.
Since arriving in France the Asian Hornet has been “rapidly extending its range,” the British Non-Native Special Secretariat (NNSS) says.
It is considered merely a matter of time before the species arrives in the UK, with a high possibility of introduction through cut flowers, fruit or on un-treated timber. The NNSS also said that it there is a chance it could simply fly across the Channel.
Because the invasive insect can cause widespread damage to bee colonies, bee-keeping organisations and governmental departments are still urging members of the public to report sightings of the virulent species.
“Do not under any circumstances disturb or provoke an active hornets’ nest,” the British Beekeepers Association, says.
An April report by the Environmental Audit Committee says: “Niall Moore [from the NNSS]… told us that the Non-native Species Secretariat was helping the Environment Agency and Natural England to develop Rapid Response Plans for species, as well as contingency plans for the arrival of the Asian Hornet.”
Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way
Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat
Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down
Review: Witty banalities aside, the comedian has an authentic voice
The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon
- 1 Salisbury ranked seventh-best city in the world to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015
- 2 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 3 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Chicago voter tells Obama 'don't touch my girlfriend' – Obama stays super smooth
Oscar Pistorius: The brutal prison life that awaits disgraced athlete
Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Raphael Ravenscroft dead: 'Baker Street' musician who played the most famous saxophone solo for just £27, dies aged 60
Darren Vann: Indiana man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear more
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Jose Manuel Barroso warns David Cameron against making 'historic mistake' over immigration reforms
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Science teacher requi...
£36000 - £60000 per annum: Randstad Education Southampton: Our client are a we...
£22000 - £32000 per annum + TLR: Randstad Education Southampton: Our client is...
£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: The role could involve w...