Asian Hornet Alert: Have You Seen This Insect?

Asian Hornet Alert: Have You Seen This Insect?

Posted on 27 April, 2018

Asian Hornet, 'Vespa velutina'

The NNSS (Non-Native Species Secretariat) has requested that we share information about the Asian Hornet; a non native insect that poses a threat to honey bees and other pollinators. We advise that all beekeepers and gardeners please be extra vigilant and report any sightings to

What is it?
An invasive non-native hornet originally from Asia. Suspected records should be reported immediately. A highly aggressive predator of native insects, posing a significant threat to honey bees and other pollinators. Accidentally introduced to France in 2004 where it spread rapidly. In 2016 the first UK sighting was confirmed in Gloucestershire, and a second sighting was confirmed more recently (2017) in North Devon.

Where might I see it?
Most likely to be seen close to bee hives - bee keepers should be alert. Active from February to November in suburban areas in the south of England and Wales, or around major ports.

What does it look like?
Distinctive hornet, smaller than our native species. A key feature is the almost entirely dark abdomen, except for the 4th segment which is yellow.

➤ Slightly smaller than native hornet 

➤ Dark abdomen, 4th segment yellow 

➤ Bright yellow tips to legs (native hornet dark) 

➤ Entirely brown or black thorax (native hornet more orange)

➤ Makes very large nests

This hornet stings. Do not disturb an active nest.

For more information or to report any sightings please email:

If you have an iPhone or Android, download the free recording app:
Asian Hornet Watch