BEEKEEPERS are urging everyone to look out for Asian hornets in Ryedale.

The Malton and District and Ryedale branches of the British Beekeepers Association are encouraging residents to report any sightings, during Asian Hornet Week, which runs from September 7 to 13.

The groups are asking people to put an hour aside every day to check their hives for hornets hanging in the air around the entrance - a behaviour known as hawking.

Since the coronavirus pandemic, fewer Asian hornet nests have been spotted due to lockdown restrictions and fewer people being out and about.

“We need you to look very carefully,” said Anne Rowberry, chairperson of The British Beekeepers Association.

“Asian hornet nests can be found almost anywhere, at the top of a tall tree or in the eaves of a house, but have also been found in hedges.

“Do not approach a nest if you find on, stay at least 20 metres away.”

Asian hornets, known in Latin as Vespa Velutina, is an alien species that could decimate British pollinators if established in this county.

Honeybees are a particular favourite of the Asian hornets, which hang around hives of honeybees, waiting for foragers to come out.

Autumn is the time for trapping hornets as they are building their secondary nests and have a lot of larvae to feed, particularly the new potential queens.

The British Beekeepers Association has established the Asian hornet watch app on iPhone or Andriod, which identifies a species and reports it to the authorities responsible for non-native species.

“Individual hornets may be found sharing the blooms on a bush with other pollinators,” added Anne.

“They will not mind you photographing them, but don’t annoy them by getting too close.

“Like all insects, they do not like the thing they are standing on to vibrate and we have a very clear demonstration of that in one of the videos we will be releasing in Asian Hornet Week.

“Just take a picture of the nest and area where you found it and send it in on the Asian hornet app.”

To report a sighting, email or visit