DORSET has been described as on the "front line" of the threat that Asian Hornets pose to bee colonies.

The British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) promoted Asian Hornet Week from September 9 to September 15 to raise awareness of the danger of these insects.

Asian Hornets are predators to flying insects, including honey bees, which has caused a problem for beekeepers in areas where they have been found. They have been causing trouble on the island of Jersey, and a few sightings have been reported on mainland Britain in recent years.

Beekeepers have raised concerns of the effect these hornets could have on the pollinator population.

Mark White, the Asian Hornet Action Team coordinator for Dorset, said: "Being the Channel Islands gateway, Dorset is very much on the front line in the fight against the Asians Hornets.

"Bees make up a substantial part of their diet. Anything that will fly, they will try and catch it in mid-flight and decapitate it."

People who suffer from anaphylaxis should be aware that the stings from Asian Hornets can trigger an anaphylactic shock.

Anyone trying to identify an Asian Hornet should look for insects that can be up to 30mm in length for a queen and 25mm for a worker, have a mostly black body with a small yellow band near the rear and have yellow legs and an orange face with brown-red compound eyes.

Anne Rowberry, the BBKA’s Asian Hornet coordinator, said: "We are asking everyone to be vigilant in looking out for this alien species, the Asian Hornet, Vespa velutina. It could decimate our pollinators, including our honey bees, it is important to have everyone actively looking for it. It’s not just a beekeeping problem.

"Now is the time for trapping and spending a little more time watching to see if hornets are hawking your hives in your apiary, put an hour aside to watch each day for hornets during Asian Hornet week and remember to look for them on late sources of nectar like ivy."

A BBKA spokesman said that risk of Asian Hornet nests drops considerably during the winter months, but is greater during summer and autumn.

There have been a total of 15 confirmed sightings of Asian Hornets in England since 2016. Six nests have been destroyed. One of the confirmed sightings happened in Poole last year.

People are implored to report any sightings of Asian Hornets, along with photographs, to

For more information about Asian Hornets and how to identify them, visit