Asian Hornet

Asian Hornet is an invasive, non-native species which became established in France in 2004 and has now spread across much of France and Spain. It is a voracious predator of honeybees. The first nest was found in the UK in 2016. Since then, more nests have been found.

What does it look like?

The Asian Hornet is dark in colour, larger than a wasp, but smaller than the European Hornet

photo: Angus Deuchar

The Asian Hornet is often confused with our native European Hornet Vespa crabro. Here’s a comparison between the two:

A size comparison between bees, wasps Asian hornet and European hornet:

The National Bee Unit have issued an identification sheet which you can download here:

The following video was filmed in France by one of our members, Richard Beal. It shows an Asian Hornet foraging on Ivy and is typical of the behaviour observed in Tetbury during the search for the first UK nest in 2016. Note the dark thorax, the orange band on the abdomen, the yellow legs, the orange face and the long narrow wings

Think you’ve seen an Asian Hornet? Report it!

If possible and safe to do so try taking a photograph or even trapping a suspected Hornet. However, do not under any circumstances disturb or provoke an active hornets’ nest.

If possible, report sightings using the free smartphone app ‘Asian Hornet Watch’. It is available for both Android and iPhone.

Sightings can also be reported using the online notification form at

More Information

You can find more information about the Asian Hornet here:

British Beekeepers Association

National Bee Unit

DEFRA Non-native species

Not sure what you’ve seen?

If you are not sure what to do, you can contact our AHAT co-ordinator using the form below. Please note that we will need a photo or a captured insect in order to be able to identify what it is you have seen.

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