Early sightings of Asian hornets (Vespa velutina) in mainland Britain have now been confirmed with hornets seen in the Tetbury area in Gloucestershire.
The hornets destroy honey bee populations by predating worker bees. They could therefore have a significant impact on the British honey bee population and on our ecology if the numbers increase further.
The hornets were first found in Jersey and Alderney during the summer, but it appears they have now crossed the Channel and have become established on the mainland.
Defra is seeking to locate the hornet nests and to destroy them with pesticide.