Amazing footage of fire brigade drone being attacked by swarm of Asian Hornets

This incredible footage shows a drone coming under attack - from a swarm of Asian hornets.

Thursday, 7th September 2017, 5:13 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:39 am
Pic and video: SWNS
Pic and video: SWNS

The airborne camera was launched by firefighters to try and track down a nest of the aggressive pests.

The colony of Asian Hornets on Jersey first appeared in July and fueled fears for the UK’s native bee population.

Just one of the foreign menaces can eat up to 50 bees A DAY and their impact on honey production could be extreme.

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Pic and video: SWNS

Experts face an anxious race against time to destroy nests to stop them spreading to the UK mainland.

Firefighters decided using a drone would be the best way to track down the hornets in Jersey.

Operators were initially dismayed when the heat camera failed to detect the nest, and even though they knew roughly where it was they were unable to pin-point it.

But the drone did the trick when the noise of its blades disturbed the hornets and a swarm flew out to attack it.

Pic and video: SWNS

Pest controllers now hope to remove and destroy the nest, which is 11 metres up a sycamore tree.

Beekeeper Bob Hogge, who has been trapping and tracking hornets on Jersey’s east coast for weeks, says the drone’s blades cut through the insects as they attacked it.

He said: “They flew up to attack the drone, which was a pretty spectacular sight, as there were quite a lot of them.

“This could prove to be the best way of detecting them.

“The heat-seeking technology failed to locate the nest but they will come out of the nest if they think the nest is under attack.”

The invasive insect reappeared on Jersey in July less than a year after they were first spotted on nearby Alderney.

A colony - believed to have contained 6,000 insects - was initially discovered in a shed and quickly exterminated by beekeepers.

But experts have struggled to control the spreading of the Asian Hornets and the setting up of secondary nests.

Unless the nests are destroyed before the queens come out of hibernation in spring, there could be tens of thousands on the island next year.

Asian hornets - the Latin name is Vespa velutina - have spread rapidly throughout France since arriving in Europe in a shipment of pot plants from China in 2004.