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Watch & Monitor

You now know what an asian hornet looks like but you probably haven't seen one for real.  In Wilts, you can expect to see one within the next three years, but it could be any time from April, peaking in July to October.


It is important to attract any individual asian hornets that may be in your area so you can see them.  Asian Hornets forage for food within 700m of their nest, so if you see a hornet, you can be pretty sure there is a nest not far away. Just like having a bird table in your garden, on your balcony or window sill, you can have an insect bait station.  Different baits attract different insects.  You'll be surprised by the variety of insects you have during the year, depending on what types of bait you put out. It's really fascinating for the kids to learn too because there is so much variation and the kids need to learn about the insects that we all depend on.  

Monitoring or bait stations do not trap or harm hornets or any insects. They just increase the chance of you detecting a hornet if there is one in the area.  Monitoring stations are composed of an open tray or container with a bait, or a closed jar or container with a bait, and a wick. This allows invertebrates and Asian hornets, if present, to visit the station to feed and fly away. It has the benefit that non-target insects are not harmed, and the trajectory of the hornet’s return to its nest can be determined. Monitoring stations are used by NBU Inspectors for active surveillance for Asian hornets. 

If you want to trap hornets, then please go to the members area, which has a section on trapping.  At the moment, there is no requirement to trap because there are no reported sightings of Asian Hornets in Wilts - however the requirement to trap could quickly change.  So please revisit this website and keep informed.

Attractive bait

Asian Hornets like proteins and sugars, and they don't mind acids.  Bees don't like acid.  

Sweet baits are highly attractive to foraging Asian hornet queens in early spring. This is because queens emerging from hibernation need high-energy, sweet foods. There are many variations of home made sugar baits, these include mixes of sugar and various types of dark beer, alcohol or fruit juice.During the summer, at the height of the beekeeping season, worker hornets forage for protein sources to feed the larvae. To make a protein bait, raw meat or fish with water can be used. The NBU have used protein baits consisting of mashed fish or prawns, diluted to 25% in water. If you choose to use a protein bait, it will need changing after 3 days due to decay and an unpleasant aroma. Asian hornets have been discovered feeding on windfall and ripe fruit; this can also be used as bait later in the season.


NBU Inspectors use a commercially available wasp bait called Trappit (suterra) for track and trace. It is a sweet bait that contains a bee deterrent, and can be used throughout the year, as hornets always need to feed on sugars for energy. Other wasp baits are available.

Bait recipes to use in Spring for Queen trapping:

  • Half litre of dark beer plus two tablespoons of sugar, mix together and add sufficient to trap or lure as/when required.

  • Half litre of water, three tablespoons of sugar, one cup of cider vinegar, mix together and add sufficient to trap or lure as/when required.

  • Half litre dark beer plus cup of blackcurrant cordial, mix together and add sufficient to trap or lure as/when required.

  • 350ml sweet white wine and 20-30ml mint syrup.

  • Orange juice.

(Thanks to Reading DBKA)

You can make your Trappit last longer by using gelatine.  See -

Bait stations

You can make a bait station from common items but they all have some sort of wick so that the insects don't drown.  Something like a J cloth that you roll up or lay flat is ideal.  

  • A jam jar with a hole in the lid

  • A plastic bottle hanging in a plastic bag in a tree

  • A flat container with a couple of stones to weight down the cloth and the container

(You can see that this AH has just been marked yellow behind its head, so we know it has been seen before)

Modifying a jar lid for a bait station

Courtesy Devon AHT

1 - Using a plastic tube about 20mm diameter, mark a circle

2 - Mark the centre of the circle

4 - With a stepped drill bit, start drilling with some waste wood underneath

5 - Keep drilling!!

3 - Stamp the centre of the circle with a nail

6 - Stop drilling when you reach the circle

7 - Insert the tube and glue or seal in position

8 - Put in the J cloth wick and a little bait liquid, then hang the jar using wire or tied in a bag

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