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Featured Image Credit: Washington State Department of Agriculture/Alamy
Experts believe bee-killing Asian hornets are making their way to the UK after being spotted on the Channel Islands.
Three sightings of the insects have been made on the Channel Islands last week, with experts believing they are being blown over from France.
Asian hornet project co-ordinator Francis Russell said the first was caught on Alderney last Tuesday (19 April); another was found dead in L’Islet in Guernsey and a third found in a trap in a garden.
The sightings have prompted experts to warn that they make be making their way to the UK.
Russell told the Sun: “We think these are coming fresh from France. The wind is set to be north-easterly through the next week.
“We tend to get Asian hornets during north-easterly winds or just afterwards. I think this is the start. More will be found.”
Although given the scary nickname of 'killer' hornets, the insects are only deadly to those who have allergies - much like bees and wasps.
However, they do pose a very real threat to the UK's native bee population.
The Asian hornets eat honey bees and have been known to wipe out entire colonies in a single day.
The RSPB told LBC: "The Asian hornet is a non-native species in the UK, as it hails from east Asia and could not arrive in the UK naturally.
"The concern around the Asian hornet is that it is a significant predator of bees. In France, it has consumed large numbers of bees, including the well-known European honey bee and many lesser-known solitary and colonial bee species.
"Nature conservation organisations, including the RSPB, are concerned about the impacts of Asian hornets on bees, as these pollinating species are an essential component of well-functioning ecosystems.”
As well as being find in Europe, the hornets have also been found in the US, where experts are also worried about the impact the hornets may have on native bee populations.
Washington State Department of Agriculture entomologist Chris Looney told the NYT: "This is our window to keep it from establishing
"If we can't do it in the next couple of years, it probably can't be done."
While entomologist Todd Murray said in a statement: "We need to teach people how to recognise and identify this hornet while populations are small, so that we can eradicate it while we still have a chance."