Defra will locate and investigate nests in Boston after the first confirmed sighting of an Asian Hornet this year.
The National Bee Unit confirmed the insect was seen in the Bury area of Lancashire, as well as being spotted by a member of the public in a cauliflower, which has been traced back to Boston in Lincolnshire.
An Asian Hornet, which was last seen in Woolacombe in North Devon last year, poses no greater risk to human health than a bee, but can cause damage to honey bee colonies.
Work is already underway including setting up a surveillance zone and traps in Boston and Bury and deploying bee inspectors to visit local beekeepers.
Bee inspectors from APHA National Bee Unit will carry out surveillance and monitoring in a one to two kilometre radius around the initial sighting.
Additional monitoring and surveillance will be carried out in the Boston area where the cauliflower was grown.
Defra Deputy Director for Plant and Bee Health Nicola Spence said: “Following the successful containment of the Asian hornet incursion in North Devon last year, we have a well-established protocol in place to eradicate them and control any potential spread.
“We remain vigilant across the country, working closely with the National Bee Unit and their nationwide network of bee inspectors.”
Anyone who thinks they have sign an Asian Hornet can report it using the iPhone and Android app ‘Asian Hornet Watch’ or by emailing [email protected]