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Pesky Asian hornets will be fitted with tiny radios so scientists can find their nests and destroy them.
The notorious bee killers can wreck a hive of 30,000 honey bees within hours – with each hornet eating up to 50 bees a day.
The insects, which are also known as Asian predatory wasps, can even kill humans with their nasty sting.
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Six people died in France in 2015 after being attacked and going into anaphylactic shock.
The project by Defra and the University of Exeter – which received funding of just over £630,000 – aims to halt the spread of “murder hornets” across Britain.
Dr Peter Kennedy said: “The first hornet we caught was large – well capable of carrying one of our radio tags – and flew straight from view.
“We were able to use our radio telemetry to follow the hornet, and within a couple of hours we spotted the nest in one of these trees.”
He said it was “destroyed” the very same day.
An “early warning device” is also being trialled, which will send alerts to local beekeepers when Asian hornets are near their hives.
A report says the hornets cause “ significant damage” to honey bee colonies.
This threatens honey production and damages the “pollination services they provide to crops and wild flowers”.
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They are widespread in France, but only arrived in the UK in 2016.
This comes after there were warnings from Beekeepers about killer hornets last June that could send people into anaphylactic shock if stung.
One of the deadly insects was even sighted in Felixstowe, Suffolk as the National Bee Unit urged people to get in touch if they came across the hornets.
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- Asian Hornets
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