EXPERTS have issued an urgent warning after ten people were stung by 'killer' Asian hornets at a British holiday paradise this summer.
A plea went out to anyone spotting the dangerous pests as tourists began flocking to Jersey, Guernsey and the smaller Channel Islands this week.
Those who were stung received treatment and survived, however Asian hornet stings have led to the deaths of at least five people in France this year.
The insect was also spotted in Dover as the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) asked members of the public to remain vigilant.
The National Bee Unit confirmed the sighting and monitoring is underway to find more in the area.
t's the sixth confirmed UK mainland sighting since April 2023, when a single Asian hornet was captured near Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland.
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Their venom is so powerful it causes some people to go into anaphylactic shock.
Victims can die within minutes of being attacked unless they receive urgent medical treatment.
John de Carteret, head of the Jersey Asian Hornet swat squad, said the number of nest-making Asian Hornet queens found on the island since the start of spring now totals 476.
He said: "After a record day for Asian Hornet Primary and/or Secondary nests yesterday their number stays at 77.
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"The number of people confirmed as stung remains at ten."
What are Asian hornets?
Asian hornets reached Europe after sneaking into France in 2004 in a shipment of pottery from China and are now widespread in Spain and Portugal.
The hornet is mostly black with a single yellow and orange band at the top of its abdomen, yellow legs and an orange face.
It is slightly smaller than the native European hornet but larger than a wasp.
Nests are built by a queen hornet in sheds or outbuildings but are also frequently found inside bird boxes.
The queens stay within these nests for around six weeks, where they often raise roughly 100 worker hornets.
Once the nest is large enough, the hornets will leave it and move to other areas, such as taller trees, where larger secondary nests can be built.
A single nest full of Asian hornets is capable of consuming around 11kg (24lb) of pollinating insects like honey bees in a season.
The fear is they are using the Channel Islands as a stepping stone from Europe to invade mainland Britain.
Some have already turned up in Kent, Sussex, Devon and Hampshire.
Jersey's current total of queens is already six times the figure for the whole of last year.
Channel Islanders who spot one are being urged to take a picture and note which way it travels, but not to kill it.
Experts say tracking the hornets' flight paths will lead them to nests which can be wiped out.
In France a group of cyclists were stung up to 50 times each after disturbing an Asian hornet nest as they pedalled alongside the Loire River.
On the British mainland, teams from Devon's bee-keeping associations have distributed posters to caravan parks, marinas and parish notice boards.
They are asking people to check boats and vehicles on their return from the continent.
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