Households warned they are 'high risk' as Asian Hornets make UK 'permament home'

Asian Hornets are sweeping the UK - and could make Britain a PERMANENT home, it has been warned. Fresh research has found DNA analysis which suggests Asian Hornets have survived a British winter and could be nesting in parts of the country amid rising temperatures.

It could have a "concerning" impact on native pollinators and biodiversity were they to stay, master beekeeper Lynne Ingram told the BBC. "The DNA analysis has now proved they are overwintering - they could get really established here," Ms Ingram said.

The British Bee Keepers Association is now trying to locate other nests before new queens are produced. "We know that some of the nests we found last year, the queens had already been produced," said Ms Ingram, who is the Asian hornet teams coordinator for Somerset Beekeepers Association.

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"And they leave the nests and go into hibernation for the winter, and they're very difficult to find," Ms Ingram added. "A [honey bee] hive is like a supermarket for an Asian hornet - they just have to wait outside," Ms Ingram said.

The British Bee Keepers Association is urging the public to report sightings of the Asian hornet via the Asian Hornet Watch app. The National Bee Unit, an arm of the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), said it destroyed 72 nests in 56 locations, most of which were in Kent.

A single hornet nest can produce 350 queens. Approximately 90 per cent of these will not survive the winter, but every queen that does can seed an entire colony. "There is a high risk of this species becoming established in the UK, and it will take intensive effort to limit the speed of spread," the unit said.

Defra has said it "continues to stand ready to respond quickly and effectively to any further possible sightings”.