Vespa velutina, also known as the Asian hornet is an invasive non-native species from Asia. It arrived in France in 2004 where it spread rapidly. As a highly effective predator of insects, including honey bees and other beneficial species, it can cause significant losses to bee colonies, and potentially other native species.
The Asian hornet is smaller than our native hornet, with adult workers measuring from 25mm in length and queens measuring 30mm. It’s 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 which accounts for why it is often called the yellow legged hornet and it’s face is orange with two brownish red compound eyes.
It is important to report any suspected sightings of this species as soon as possible. The Asian hornet is active mainly between April and November (peak August/September) and is inactive over the winter.
Ideally sightings 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:
Do not under any circumstances disturb or provoke an active hornets’ nest.