Asian hornet - Vespa velutina
This is a species alert issued as part of the GB rapid response protocol:
Vespa velutina, sometimes known as the 'Asian hornet’ is an invasive non-native species from Asia. It has recently arrived in France where it is spreading rapidly. As a highly effective predator of insects, including honey bees and other beneficial species, it can cause significant losses to bee colonies, other native species and potentially ecosystems.
Not yet present in GB, but it is considered likely to arrive soon. The places it is most likely to be found are in southern parts of England (it may be able to cross the channel from France) or goods among which it could be accidentally imported (such as soil with imported pot plants, cut flowers, fruit and timber). Active months between April and November (peak August/September). Inactive over the winter, so the most likely time to see this species will be early next year.
Sightings should be reported online using this reporting form:
Or send an email with a photograph and location details to
Do not under any circumstances disturb or provoke an active hornets’ nest.
- Alert Poster for Vespa velutina (Asian Hornet)
- Risk assessment for Vespa velutina (Asian Hornet)
- Identification Sheet for Vespa velutina (Asian Hornet)
- Information sheet for Vespa veultina (Asian Hornet)
- Response plan for Vespa velutina (Asian Hornet)
Guidance for bee keepers: can be found on BeeBase.
[Image courtesy of Jean Haxaire]