Asian Hornets

Asian hornet on ivy in Brittany -  credit Stewart Gould

Asian Hornets are a non-native species of hornet that can cause problems for our native bees.

Asian hornet facts

  • Asian hornets (Vespa velutina nigrithorax) are slightly smaller than native European hornets and look like large black wasps with orange face and yellow legs:
  • An Asian hornet queen is up to 30mm long; workers are up to 25mm long.
  • Asian hornets are dark brown or black with a velvety body and the abdomen is almost entirely black except for a yellow fourth abdominal segment. Legs are brown with yellow ends.
  • The Asian hornet is active mainly between April and November (peak August/September) and is inactive over the winter.  
  • A single Asian hornet can kill 50 bees a day, with a nest containing up to 6,000 workers and up to 350 queens.
  • In Jersey, France and large areas of Western Europe they are stripping the environment bare of insects before moving on to prey on managed honeybee colonies.

Asian hornets are a notifiable invasive species and should be reported immediately with photo if possible using: