An Asian Hornet queen has already been found in 2024. This spring is perhaps our last opportunity to prevent Asian Hornet becoming established in the UK. Please help us downloading the identification/reporting apps and reporting any sightings.
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 those surviving the winter are 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. An Asian Hornet colony will consume around 11kg of insects in a year, so even a single colony can have a severe impact on the local insect population, and hence to flowers, birds and the whole local ecosystem. Colonies of honey bees represent a particularly convenient food source to a mature Asian Hornet colony in late summer or autumn, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org (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, or keep its dead body so that the authorities can make a definite identification and carry out any further tests. Do not approach an Asian Hornet nest, as the insects can be very defensive and sting repeatedly and extremely painfully.