“The National Parks and Wildlife Service at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage has confirmed that a single specimen of the invasive alien species Asian Hornet has been found in Ireland. This marks the first identification of the species in the wild in Ireland. The single specimen was found ‘alive but dying’ in a private dwelling on the northside of Dublin. At this time, there is no indication of a nest in the vicinity.”
The Asian hornet is a highly effective predator of honey bees, wasps and other important pollinators, such as hoverflies. The huge size of its colonies (consisting of up to 10,000 individuals per season) means that they can rapidly decimate entire beehives.
Due to its aggressive nature and feeding habits, it could have a serious impact on native insect biodiversity and on pollination services in general.
Given that queen hornets are highly mobile and very adaptable, there is a strong risk that the species will be able to spread rapidly across the landscape, causing significant economic and ecological damage.
This time of year the queen, usually measuring up to 3 cm, will emerge and seek out an appropriate sugary food source in order to build up energy to commence building a small embryonic or ‘primary’ nest. If you suspect you have seen an Asian hornet please report it;
If you have an apiary and concerns for bee health, contact the Horticulture and Plant Health Unit of DAFM. E-mail: email@example.com
If you are a beekeeper living in Northern Ireland you can register your apiary here – it will assist us to circulate information quickly to beekeepers if you are already registered at the time of an invasion.