Norfolk put on alert for insect that eats up to '50 bees a day'

A warning has been issued after Asian hornets were spotted in the UK <i>(Image: Newsquest)</i>
A warning has been issued after Asian hornets were spotted in the UK (Image: Newsquest)

Sightings of an insect that can eat "up to 50 honey bees a day" have sparked fears that the invasive species may soon arrive in Norfolk.

Nature groups warned that recent flooding and warming temperatures have increased the risk of a spike in the numbers of Asian 'murder' hornets.

The public has been urged to report any sightings of the hornet amid fears the bug will move up the UK after becoming established in Kent.

Richard Benwell, Wildlife and Countryside Link chief executive, said: “Invasive species are already one of the biggest threats to the UK environment, from smothering waterways to out-competing native species.

READ MORE: Norfolk rector becomes rural advisor to Bishop of Norwich

Eastern Daily Press: The BPCA has issued a comparison graphic for identifying Asian hornets
Eastern Daily Press: The BPCA has issued a comparison graphic for identifying Asian hornets

The BPCA has issued a comparison graphic for identifying Asian hornets (Image: BPCA)

“They also cause billions of pounds in damage a year to homes and businesses and even pose risks to human health."

Asian hornets pose a serious threat to British bees and the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) has said any sightings should be immediately reported and dealt with by professionals.

Slightly smaller than native European hornets, Asian hornets are black or dark brown with a distinctive yellow band at the rear.

They also have bright yellow tips to the legs, a yellow 'belt' at the waist, with an orange or yellow face.