Boost to Online Resources

The British Beekeeping Association has substantially re-organised its Asian Hornet website pages to provide easy access to a collection of resources to assist Associations in engaging their local community to help prevent the establishment of the Asian Hornet in the UK. 

The pages which can be accessed here – BBKA A H Resources – collect a wide range of materials including: draft press releases and templates for letters; posters and ID sheets, PowerPoint and safety guidance for the public as well as photographs images and videos and other items created by local Associations. 

The BBKA has also updated its pages of Resources for AH Teams uploading a number of new documents specifically aimed at AH Teams including: 

*Asian Hornet Risk Assessment
*Protocol for Spring Trapping of AH Queens
*Protocol for Asian Hornet Monitoring Traps
*BBKA Insurance FAQs

The pages include other useful items such as guidance leaflets on AH Monitoring & Trapping and an instruction pamphlet detailing a Method of Tracking the hornets developed in Jersey. A version of this method is used by the NBU to find and destroy Asian hornet nests. 

The National Bee Unit has also updated its Asian Hornet Monitoring Factsheet to include information on a small selection of commercially available selective traps that can be used for spring monitoring and guidance on setting up monitoring stations for summer monitoring. 

County News – Green Is Good

Surrey AHATs have welcomed the three zone – red, amber and green – traffic-light system adopted by the NBU and BBKA to indicate of AH incursion to an area and the subsequent use of selective mesh traps and bait stations to reduce the impact of trapping on native insects. The March edition of BeeCraft carries an article on the traffic light system, and the reasoning behind the use of selective traps and trapping by Dr Sarah Bunker, author of The Asian Hornet Handbook. Bait stations have important role in monitoring to find hornets, she notes, observing that more and more traps are becoming available. But, beekeepers “need to be aware of the consequences of bycatch and take great care to avoid harming native insects”. 

Surrey AHATs are relieved that the majority of the County remains in the Green Zone as the nests found in Oxted in 2023 remain the only AH incursion in the locale. 

Call for more AH Verifiers

AHATs still need more local beekeepers to step forward as Verifiers to help in the campaign against the Asian Hornet incursion in the UK. 

It’s a key role in each area. Co-ordinators are first point of contact when there is a reported AH sighting (liaising with government agencies and co-ordinating the activities of the Verifiers). But it is the Verifiers that help confirm the potential AH presence – and, where necessary, assisting both agencies and the Co-ordinator in monitoring and trapping. 

Many hands make light work, and Surrey Divisions still need volunteers to form a local Verifier network covering their geographical footprint. 

“The need for Verifiers is huge”, says Surrey County Co-ordinator, Helen Worwood. “Our County urgently requires more beekeepers to come forward to help fill the team vacancies – some Divisions have a way to go. 

“We are encouraging all BKA members who may be interested in helping in the fight against this pest to get in touch with their divisional Co-ordinator for a non-committal chat.” 

Surrey’s AHAT Co-ordinators are: 

Helen Worwood (Epsom) 
Croydon: Anna Slade Epsom: John Futcher 
Farnham: Julie Trice Guildford: Jonathan Brookhouse 
Kingston: Avis Marshall Reigate: Keith Mackie 
Weybridge: Andrew Halstead Wimbledon: Gareth Morgan 

Members can contact the above by clicking on the blue pins on the BBKA’s online AHAT Map, which enables the public to search for local Coordinators, who are each represented by a blue pin with contact telephone details. 

After recently taking Epsom Members on a walk-through of the BBKA’s Asian Hornet Training Exercise (a publicly available education and public awareness tool), John Futcher, the Epsom’s AH Co-ordinator, is encouraging the Association’s beekeeping and non-beekeeping members to spread the word to family and friends and to contact him if they are interested in becoming Verifiers. Email him at:

Surrey AHAT Budget Request

On Tuesday 12th March, the Trustees of Surrey Beekeepers Association held a special Committee Meeting on Zoom to review the request for funding for planned activities of AH Co-ordinators in 2024. 

The Committee received a written paper and heard a presentation by Helen Woodward and Jonathan Brookhouse. The proposed budget covered two major workstreams: Communications & Awareness Raising and Monitoring for Presence of Asian Hornet. 

A long and detailed discussion followed. The Committee applauded the work of the AHAT team and acknowledged the need for both the streams of work identified in the budget request. Consideration was given to the role of BBKA in delivering a national strategy and 

gaining greater understanding of he extent of existing resources in Surrey – including assessing the amount of AH bait remaining from recent monitoring; how best to employ local Associations’ gazebos, pop ups and banners; and the logistics of centralised buying and distribution. 

Trustees expressed concern about the long-term impact of ring-fencing an AH budget on SBKA’s central funds. With a request for more information on AH bait supplies and more detail on certain planned activities, the meeting closed with no firm decision. 

Work continues in this space. 

Surrey AH Co-ordinators are currently working on plans to hold roadshows at large public events across the county with the aim to generate more eyes looking for AH and knowing how to report sightings. If you are aware of a popular large public event in your locality, please ensure your AH Co-ordinator also knows of it so the AH Team can look to attend as many as possible. 

Refresh Your Knowledge

We continue to strongly encourage all members to watch out for the regular bulletins from February’s Asian Hornet Conference

By keeping up to date and well informed the better we can inform others and adapt our beekeeping practices to fight off AH incursions. 

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