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Deadly Asian hornet pictured in beer garden trying to drink lager in UK heatwave

Jul 15, 2019

This picture below shows a deadly Asian hornet drinking from a PINT – as experts say the foreign invaders are so dehydrated they are heading to beer gardens.

The killer bug was photographed hovering over the lager at the Mermaid Inn in Sark, a Channel Island.

The islands have Britain's largest population of Asian hornets which have also been spotted on the mainland.

Experts say the hornets are so dehydrated by the British heatwave they are coming out of hiding and heading to lakes, pools, BBQs and beer gardens.

The black and yellow striped insects, capable of killing a person with one sting, have arrived in large numbers on the island of Jersey – with 80 queens spotted this year.

Islanders have been asked to report any sightings of the species so experts can track and destroy their nests

Thirteen nests have been destroyed already in 2019 – compared to 12 last year.

But the killer hornets, which feed by biting the heads off bees and eating the rest, are coming out of their nests in the hot weather to find suitable places to collect water.

As many as 30 in one hour were recorded drinking water from a pond in St Helier, Jersey's capital.

The insects – which can cause a human to go into anaphylactic shock and die if they are allergic to the venom – were spotted eating meat from a barbecue plate in Jersey.

Leo Jeune, who was drinking a pint at The Mermaid Inn and took the photo, said: "I was on Holiday in Sark with my family enjoying a pint, when what appeared to be a very loud wasp flew over us onto the table, and became very interested in the pint.

"I didn't think too much off it at the time and took a photo, later realising that it's size and markings looked quite similar to an Asian hornet which I had never seen before."

Francis Russell, project coordinator for the Asian Hornet Strategy in Guernsey, Channel Islands, said: 'Water is really important for hornets as their nests are continually being expanded during the summer months.

"The worker hornets will seek out fence panels, sheds and posts, using their jaws to collect wood shavings which they convert to papier mache by pulping it with saliva and water.

"This is then shaped with their mouth-parts to form the nest structure.

"Now we know that hornets will be attracted to water, especially while this hot weather persists, we are encouraging everyone with a pond or water feature to have a close look during this hot weather to see if any hornets are calling in for a drink."

Asian hornets are a threat to local wildlife, in particular honey bees.

The last recorded sighting of Asian hornets on Guernsey was on June 10 when a person was trapped close to a beekeepers' hives.

Mr Russell added: "We suspected that July might be a quiet time as any hornets that evaded capture in the spring will hopefully be low in numbers, until they start moving into the larger secondary nests and raising many more workers.

"However, there is no room for complacency as we know how industrious these insects can be and how quickly their nests can build up while they remain undetected.

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