Species alerts

Asian hornet - Vespa velutina

Asian hornet - <em>Vespa velutina</em>

This is a species alert:

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.   

Asian hornet was detected for the first time in GB in Tetbury, Gloucestershire in September 2016. A single nest was found and eradicated and no subsequent sightings have been made in the area.  A further sighting was made in Woolacombe, Devon, in September 2017. A single nest was located and destroyed. A sighting was made in April 2018, more information here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/asian-hornet-identified-in-lancashire.

It is important to report any suspected sightings of this species as soon as possible.  Vigalence is particularly required in southern parts of England and the areas where other sightings have been made (Devon, Somerset and Gloucestershire).  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:

However, you can also email us 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.

Asian Hornet resources:

Guidance for bee keepers: can be found on BeeBase.

[Image courtesy of Jean Haxaire]

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