We all know how important pollinators are for us. For our food production. For biodiversity.
We also know they have been in decline and need our help.
Now they face a new threat from the aggressive, non-native invasive species Vespa velutina, the Asian Hornet.
Although Asian hornets pose no greater risk to human health than a bee, they are a threat to our native honey bees and other pollinators and beneficial insects, which is why it is important to stop them spreading across the countryside. They arrived in France in 2004 and were first recorded in the south of the UK last year in a small number of locations.
Asian hornets are not easily confused with any other species. They have a dark brown or black velvety body and a characteristically dark abdomen and yellow tipped legs. It is smaller than the native European Hornet.
You can find a guide to identification here: http://www.nonnativespecies.org//index.cfm?sectionid=47
Beekeepers are being encourage to help monitor for Asian Hornets by installing simple monitoring traps this spring.