'Killer' Asian hornets spotted in Devon amid fears swarms could invade Britain this summer

Deadly Asian hornets which can kill with just one sting have been ‘spotted’ in Devon – amid fears swarms could attack Britain this summer.

Wednesday, 26th June 2019, 12:24 pm
Updated Wednesday, 26th June 2019, 12:24 pm
The Asian hornet - set to invade Britain.

The Sun reported that two enormous hornets have been spotted in the south west - sparking fears the killer Asian hornet has arrived on the British mainland.

The monster insect, measuring about 4cm, was at first thought to be a "humming bird" when it buzzed past a horrified man.

The Asian hornet - set to invade Britain.

The witness told Devon Live that he was in a walled vegetable garden at the Arlington Court National Trust property when "something huge" flew past on Sunday.

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He said: "It was about 4cm long, mostly black but with an orange tinge to the tail.

"Its wingspan was enormous - a horrible, ugly looking thing."

But after the picture was flagged to the British Beekeepers Association, it was confirmed to be a large European hornet.

Another hornet was later spotted in Barnstaple inside a delivery driver's car.

Rob King said: "I dropped the window and it went out. After looking online I'm convinced it was a giant Asian hornet.

"People need to be made aware that these insects are now in North Devon and carry a potential risk of death."

Last week it was revealed that the hornets had arrived on Jersey in larger numbers than ever before.

Sting victims allergic to the insect’s venom could go into anaphylactic shock and die, often with minutes.

The Channel Islands are a staging post for flying to the UK and a number of active nests have already been spotted and wiped out.

Alastair Christie, the Channel Island’s co-ordinator, said 13 “active nests” have been destroyed already, compared to just 12 nests in the whole of last year.

The warm spring followed by rainy weather is a perfect breeding ground for the hornets – who can devastate wildlife, including bees.