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Basketball-sized Asian hornet nest removed from UK garden after week-long search

Daisy Phillipson

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Basketball-sized Asian hornet nest removed from UK garden after week-long search

One hornet is too many, so you can only imagine how this bloke felt when authorities discovered a whole nest the size of a basketball in his back garden.

Listen, we're well aware that hornets - like all creatures - are an essential part of the ecosystem. But that doesn't make them any less terrifying.

In this instance, we're talking about Asian hornets, which are actually typically a little smaller than the British stingers - but, again, it doesn't make them any less terrifying.

Last week, the National Bee Unit warned the public to 'remain vigilant' after a few of the blighters were spotted in the Rayleigh area of Essex.

The nest was compared to a 'basketball' in size. Credit: DEFRA
The nest was compared to a 'basketball' in size. Credit: DEFRA

And now it looks like they have found the source - a f**k off nest situated in local resident David Holborn's garden.

Inspectors from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) located the nest at his Raleigh home through a track and trace operation.

After requesting access to the property, they found the nest 20 feet up a sycamore tree. They have since destroyed it and taken it to a government lab for testing.

Although you might wonder how Holborn managed to crack on with his life knowing there were dozens of stingers using his tree as a hideout, turns out he was oblivious to the whole thing.

Speaking to BBC Essex, he said: "It was the size of an elongated basketball.

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"It's quite scary to think it's been in our garden for probably two months, but there's been no harm to us.

"They've been keeping themselves to themselves."

But when he found out the partially destroyed nest would have to stay at his for another night, he added: "As a precaution, we did shut the window."

That's quite possibly the most British response ever.

Though Asian hornets aren't any more of a threat to humans than native bees or wasps, being stung by one still wouldn't be pleasant.

They do, however, pose a threat to honeybees, as they can raid their hives and eat the pollen spreaders.

Asian hornets first arrived in Europe in 2004, when they were inadvertently brought to France in what is thought to have been a shipment of imported goods.

Asian hornets can be a threat to bees. Credit: Brian Gadsby/Alamy Stock Photo
Asian hornets can be a threat to bees. Credit: Brian Gadsby/Alamy Stock Photo

The species has spread rapidly since then, prompting experts to warn of their arrival in the UK earlier this year.

Thankfully now it looks like the latest saga has been solved, although if you do happen to come across one of them in the future, you can report it to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (details here).

Just remember, they're more scared of you than you are of them... probably.

Featured Image Credit: DEFRA

Topics: Animals, UK News

Daisy Phillipson
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