A DEADLY hornet that can slaughter up to 50 bees a day has been spotted in England this week, with fears it is part of a killer swarm.
Experts are scrambling to find the Asian hornet’s nest after the terrifying insect was spotted for the first time in Tamworth, Staffordshire on Monday.
Asian hornets have venom strong enough to dissolve human tissue and can spark killer anaphylactic attacks.
The flying monsters can devour dozens of bees in 24 hours and pose a particular threat to children and vulnerable adults.
Nicola Spence, chief plant health officer at the department for environment, food and rural affairs (DEFRA), urged people to report more sightings as a desperate race is launched to find the nest.
She said: “By ensuring we are alerted to possible sightings as early as possible, we can take swift and effective action to stamp out the threat posed by Asian hornets.”
The Asian hornet (Vespa velutina) has spread across Europe after it was accidentally imported into France from China in 2004.
Since 2016, there have been 15 confirmed sightings of the Asian hornet in England and six nests have been destroyed.
In September 2016 hornet catchers were dispatched to Tetbury, Gloucestershire, where the first official discovery of an Asian hornet was confirmed.
A month later experts set up a three-mile surveillance zone after finding a massive Asian hornets’ nest at the top of a 55ft conifer, also in Tetbury.
HOW TO SPOT DEADLY ASIAN HORNETS
Asian hornets look similar to native European hornets but with darker colouring.
Queens grow up to 3cm in length, and workers up to 2.5cm.
Their bodies are dark brown or black, and bordered with a yellow band, while they have one band across the abdomen.
Their legs are brown with yellow ends and they have an orange face.
Asian hornets contain a neurotoxin that can kill in just a single sting.
The sting also holds eight chemicals that can cause an allergic shock.
In France, at least six people have already died from anaphylactic shock after being stung.
Asian hornets have jaws strong enough to chew through protective bee clothing and feed them to larvae.
Up to 700 hornets will join in an attack on any perceived threat to their nest.
People are warned not to run if hornets attack them as they attack moving targets
You should crouch low to the ground, stop moving and try to cover your head.
Beekeepers have demanded action to halt the threat of a hornet invasion across the continent.
There are now just 25 native species of honey bee in the UK and numbers may be as low as 50,000 at the height of summer.
Colin Lodge, from the Asian Hornet Action Team, warned of “the danger” hornets pose to the public “especially children and more vulnerable adults.”
He said: “Unlike the other wasp species these hornets are found building their nests in places where people can easily come into contact with them.
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“The public should be aware that whilst the Asian hornets are not ordinarily aggressive, they are advised that they should not under any circumstances approach a nest.
“If the hornets are disturbed, they will actively defend their nests.”
He added that Asian hornets pose no more threat to people than other hornets.
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