Vespa velutina, known as the ‘Asian hornet’ or ‘yellow-legged hornet’ is an invasive species from Asia. If you find one you MUST report it. The species 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 big losses to bee colonies, other native species and potentially ecosystems. We have several beekeepers in Brentor who would appreciate your help in preventing this species from spreading.
The hornet is most likely to be found in southern parts of England. It may be able to cross the channel from France or arrive in imported goods, such as soil in imported pot plants, cut flowers, fruit and timber. It is active between April and November, at its peak in August and September.
Three easy steps to identify the Asian hornet
1. Does it look very black?
2. Has it got a wide orange stripe on 4th segment of abdomen?
3. Do its legs look as if they have been dipped in yellow paint?