The BBKA Asian Hornet Conference 17th February 2024

Vespa velutina male. Photograph by Gilles San Martin. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

This conference provided an overview of the effect of the hornet in 2023 and plans for dealing with it in 2024.

You can view a recording on YouTube here. Best to start from about 9 minutes from the beginning.

Nigel Semmence: ‘An Update from the NBU’
Contingency Planning and Science Officer, National Bee Unit

Martin Smith; eR2 Project Manager: ‘Communication is the key’
An introduction to the way in which we beekeepers fit into the fight against the Asian Hornet.  Following on from the NBU update, this talk will confirm the roles of AH Coordinators and Verifiers and how they appear on the various maps that are now available, both publicly and within the secure eR2 membership environment. It will also outline the way in which a suspect sighting reported by a member of the public via the AH App will be passed as quickly as possible to a beekeeper to follow up.

Kirsteen Thorne;  BBKA Outreach Officer
Kirsteen has previously worked as a journalist, presenter and radio producer for BBC Radio Norfolk and the regional BBC Look East programme. Initially she will be focusing on raising the profile of the threat of Asian Hornet and implementing the BBKA outreach plan.

Alastair Christie:  ‘An update on Jersey and what BBKA could learn from the Jersey Experience’ 
Alastair Christie works for the Environment Department with the Government of Jersey as an Invasive Species Officer. He has been in post as Jersey’s Asian Hornet Coordinator since 2019 managing the control programme and working closely with the volunteers who carry out much of the work. As such he has built up considerable experience of the invasive Asian hornet (Vespa velutina nigrithorax) and has seen how the hornet landscape has changed over the years, and how their techniques for controlling them have evolved and been refined. In 2023 they have found a record 339 nests, up from 174 in 2022. In his lecture he’ll bring you up to date on what happened in 2023 in Jersey, some of the lessons that others can learn.

Jackie Thomas of Dover and District BKA: “An update from Kent”

Jackie relates the experience and lessons learned by DDBKA in 2023. DDBKA have developed a simple and sustainable way of utilising members to perform widespread monitoring.