The Asian hornet, vespa velutina, is an invasive non-native species from Asia. It arrived in France in 2004 where it spread rapidly. It is a highly effective predator of insects, including honey bees and other beneficial species. Consequently, they can cause significant losses to bee colonies, and potentially other native species.
The Asian species is smaller than our native hornet. Adult workers measure from 25mm in length and queens measure 30mm. The abdomen is mostly black except for it’s fourth abdominal segment which is a yellow band located towards the rear. It has characteristical yellow legs and as a result is why it is often called the yellow legged hornet. The face is orange with two brownish red compound eyes.
Above all, it is important to report any suspected sightings of this species as soon as possible. They are active mainly between April and November (peak August/September) and inactive during the winter.
Reports should be sent in via the Asian Hornet Watch app or the online recording form using the links below:
- Asian Hornet Watch app for iPhone
- Asian Hornet Watch app for android
- Online recording form for Asian Hornet
However, you can also email if you have a sighting. Please send a photograph and location details to:
Karl Francis is the Asian Hornet co-ordinator for our club so he who will keep us updated with the latest news.
Do not under any circumstances disturb or provoke an active hornets’ nest.