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Fears of welder Clive Dancer after hornet lands on tools in Hadlow High Street

By Kent Messenger reporter

A giant wasp, originally feared be a deadly Asian hornet, was trapped by a welder after the creature landed on his machine.

Self-employed Clive Dancer, 56, was welding cast iron furniture for an antiques firm in Hadlow High Street when the creature landed on the machine’s controls.

Mr Dancer, of Rochester-based Mobile Welding Kent, said: “I have an inverter welding machine and it emits radio frequency and I think the hornet was drawn into this because it ignored the flowers in the garden.”

Simon Savage with the Hornet
Simon Savage with the Hornet

He carefully encouraged the hornet onto a dustpan and it was then trapped underneath a glass jar.

The 56-year-old said: “It was the biggest hornet I’d ever seen with huge jaws and a giant thorax.”

Vince Allen, owner of nearby Country Pine said: “When I saw it I thought 'oh heck'. The hornet was was bigger than a £2 coin."

Bron and Ray Sadler found the bug at home in Headcorn
Bron and Ray Sadler found the bug at home in Headcorn

However, an inspection of the trapped insect found it is not a giant Asian hornet.

The sighting came just days after a Headcorn couple feared they had found a giant killer Asian hornet - blamed for the deaths of six people in France - in their home.

The two-inch bug was captured by Bron and Ray Sadler after it buzzed into their Station Road home.

Originally from China, it is claimed the massive bugs can eat their way through 50 of our home-grown bees in a day.

The Giant Asian Hornet is said to be in Kent
The Giant Asian Hornet is said to be in Kent

However, a spokesman from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: "There have been no confirmed sightings of Asian hornets in the UK - they are smaller than our own native hornets and are no more dangerous.

"We are aware of the potential impacts they could have on honey bees and have plans in place to eradicate them if they are identified.

"In Great Britain we would not expect Asian hornets to establish outside southern parts of England and Wales due to colder weather."

He urged people to email reports of any potential sightings with a photo to lertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk.

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