The Asian Hornet

Vespa velutina, sometimes known as the 'Asian hornet' is an invasive non-native species from Asia. If you find one you must report it. It arrived in France in 2004 and has spread 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.

It is expected that the places it is most likely to be found in numbers are in southern parts of England (it may be able to cross the channel from France) or in goods among which it could be accidentally imported (such as soil with imported pot plants, cut flowers, fruit and timber).  Active between April and November (peak August/September).

Asian Hornets have become a menace to honeybees in Western Europe in the last ten years and they have now appeared in England and Scotland in the last two years, presenting a major threat to honeybees and beekeeping, as well a major threat to biodiversity since they eat many other insects including pollinators.

The BBKA have produced a FAQ page, identification help and guidance on how to report a sighting.  Please visit their website for more information:

The photographs here have been used with kind permission of Dr John Feltwell.  Living locally to Mantel Farm, John is a scientist, zoologist, naturalist and intrepid rainforest traveller.  He has written over 40 books on conservation, natural history, rainforests and gardening..., and is a member and advisor to our local Beekeeping Association and Crowhurst Environment Group

More information and photographs for the Asian Hornet identification can be found on Johns website:



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