Asian Hornet (Vespa Velutina)
Vespa velutina, the yellow legged hornet, commonly known as the Asian hornet, is native to Asia and was confirmed for the first time in the South West of France in 2004, it quickly established and spread to many regions of France. Asian hornets are established in Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Jersey, and there were over 70 confirmed nests found on the U.K mainland as of November 2023. The hornet preys on a wide range of insects including honeybees, (Apis mellifera) and disrupts the ecological role they provide. It has also altered the biodiversity in regions of France where it is present and can be a health risk to those who have allergies to hornet or wasp stings.
To help identify the Asian Hornet the image below shows the differences between it and our native species of European hornet, wasp and honey bee.
If you are unsure about what type of insect you have seen, you should make an effort to photograph the hornet and report it as outlined below. More information can be found here on the BBKA website: https://www.bbka.org.uk/Listing/Category/asian-hornet-vespa-velutina
It is vital that in the spring, when Asian hornet foundresses are on the wing and sighted by someone, they are not allowed to escape. Please familiarise yourself with what the Asian hornet, and common misidentified insects look like, and to help you the Asian hornet fact sheet in English and Welsh can be downloaded. If you spot one, please make every effort to try and capture/ kill it to prevent it from flying off, and then notify as outlined below. If it does fly off please try to see in which direction it travels as this may assist in locating the nest.
E mail with a photograph to:
Bee base Asian hornet reporting: http://www.brc.ac.uk/risc/alert.php?species=asian_hornet
GWBKA Asian hornet co-ordinator: email@example.com