RESIDENTS have been warned to stay vigilant after an Asian hornet was spotted in the area.

Beekeepers and members of the public have been warned about the killer insect after it was seen in Ascot.

The National Bee Unit has confirmed the sighting and monitoring is underway to detect any other Asian hornets in the area.

The Asian hornet poses no risk to human health but can be dangerous if their nest is disturbed.

However, they do pose a risk to honey bees and work is already underway to monitor for any hornet activity and to identify any nests nearby.

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This is the first confirmed UK sighting since September 2020, when one Asian hornet nest was identified and destroyed near Gosport, Hampshire.

Nicola Spence, Defra’s chief plant and bee health officer, said: "By ensuring we are alerted to possible sightings as early as possible, we can take swift and effective action to stamp out the threat posed by Asian hornets. That’s why we are working at speed to locate and investigate any nests in the area following this confirmed sighting.

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"While the Asian hornet poses no greater risk to human health than other wasps or hornets, we recognise the damage they can cause to honey bee colonies and other beneficial insects.

"Please continue to look out for any Asian hornets and if you think you’ve spotted one, report your sighting through the Asian hornet app or online."