A way to remotely detect, locate and notify of an Asian Hornet attack on a bee hive has been developed.

Specialists in acoustics at Arnia have successfully isolated the specific acoustic signature of Asian hornet hawking behaviour. The company is now developing a non-intrusive monitoring system to detect the presence of the hornet and automatically alert beekeepers.

The Asian hornet is a predator to honey bees, capable of destroying whole colonies of bees. Thought to have been accidentally imported to France from China in 2004 the hornet has in recent years spread across Europe with several sightings now recorded in the UK. Recently published research by the Universities of Warwick and Newcastle, working with the National Bee Unit predicted that this invasive insect will rapidly colonise the UK unless its spread is combated and that early detection is critical for successful eradication.

Huw Evans, co-founder of Arnia said, “We could not be more delighted with the results of our research. It represents a major breakthrough, but the next phase of the project is critical as it is vital that the monitoring equipment is accessible to all who need it. As well as providing an early warning system, a hornet monitoring network will improve our knowledge of Asian hornet behaviour.”

The aim is to make the new monitoring system available to as many beekeepers as possible across the UK which will also facilitate the collection of valuable Asian hornet migration data.