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. 

A number of sightings have been recorded in the UK since 2016, find the latest information on Defra's Asian hornet rolling news page (external link).

It is important to report any suspected sightings of this species as soon as possible.  Find out how to identify Asian hornet by downloading an Asian hornet identification guide (PDF), or visit the BeeBase website (external link).

Vigilance is particularly required in southern parts of England and Wales and around major ports.  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 to report an Asian hornet sighting.  Please send a photograph and location details.

Do not under any circumstances disturb or provoke an active hornets’ nest.

Asian Hornet resources:

Email us to request free hard copies of the Asian hornet alert poster and identification sheet

The BeeBase website (external link) has guidance for beekeepers (external link). 

[Image courtesy of Jean Haxaire]

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