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The Asian Hornet, Vespa velutina, is a native species of Asia which was inadvertently introduced to South France in 2004.  It has spread rapidly since then and is now widespread in France, Germany and the Iberian peninsula.


Although there have been a number of UK sightings before 2023, there has been a considerable rise in the number of insects and nests seen this year.  This is of great concern, since a single secondary colony in September can produce around 350 queens, and each of these will move away from a nest to hibernate, and is capable of flying 40km in a day.  In France, the rate of spread of Asian Hornet was about 100km / year. Now is a critical period in stopping Asian Hornet becoming endemic in the UK.

Asian Hornet is a voracious predator of other insects, feeding on the protein in their thorax, and is a danger to our native insects in general, and to honey bees in particular.  Colonies of honey bees represent a particularly attractive food source to Asian Hornet, and can be rapidly destroyed by this predation.

We ask that members of the public, as well as beekeepers, help by looking out for Asian Hornets. The picture below will help you with identification, and there's further information here.  The Asian Hornet Watch app for iOS or Android makes identification and reporting sightings easy.  Alternatively you can use an online report form or you can email (please include a photograph). Please also let us know using the website contract form below if you identify an Asian Hornet in our locality. If you can, trap the insect alive so that you can make a definite identification and give the authorities an opportunity to track it to find any nest.



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