The following letter has been received from DEFRA (The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
I am writing to thank the council for their time and assistance this autumn in connection with the confirmed sighting of the invasive non-native species Asian hornet in the Highcliffe area of Christchurch.
The task faced by National Bee Unit inspectors in locating and eradicating nests is challenging, and it is very useful to have co-operation and understanding from local bodies such as yours.
Investigations detected two nests in the area, which were promptly destroyed. Following a further period of surveillance our inspectors were confident that no more Asian hornets were present in the area. This is important because, as you may be aware, Asian hornet represents a serious threat to our honey bees and other native pollinators.
We can only tackle this pest properly with the support of beekeepers and the general public, and I would be most grateful for your continued vigilance and reporting of any future sightings. The best way to report possible sightings is to use the free Asian Hornet Watch app, or to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof. Nicola Spence
Chief Plant Health Officer
Defra Animal and Plant Health Directorate