Asian Hornet (Vespa velutina)

Asian Hornet (Vespa velutina)

The Asian Hornet  (Vespa velutina) is a Dangerous predator whose sting has been known to be lethal especially in cases of multiple sting causing allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. 3 People died in Normandy France during August and September in 2018 as a result of being stung

The Asian Hornet is an omnivore eating Carrion, fish. other insects as well sweet substances such as pollen, jam and Honey so if you think wasps are a problem.

The Asian Hornet is particularly fond of insects that live in nest where they will hover and pick them off, which effect The whole Bee Family and wasps.

What does it look like?

  • Distinctive hornet, smaller than our native European Hornet species. A key feature is the almost entirely dark abdomen, except for the 4th segment which is yellow.
  • Bright yellow tips to legs (native hornet dark)
  • Entirely brown or black thorax (native hornet more orange)
  • Workers can be up to 25mm in length.
  • Makes very large nests
  • Most likely to be confused with European Hornet. Less likely to be confused with queen Median Wasp.
  • Main difference between European Hornet and Asian Hornet is the latter is slightly smaller, has characteristic yellow legs, a dark velvety thorax and a dark abdomen with a distinctive yellow band on the fourth segment.
  • What should I do if I come across an Asian Hornet?
  • Stay away from their nests to avoid group attack, they do not generally sting without provocation.
  • Don’t run. They can fly faster than you can run and are intrigued by moving targets and consider running a provocation. Crouch low to the ground, stop moving and try to cover your head.
  • Giant hornets are excited by bright colours so wear brown or black.
  • They are drawn to perfume and aftershave.
  • They’re also agitated by the smell of alcohol.
  • Sightings should be sent with a photograph and location details to
  • Do not under any circumstances disturb or provoke an active hornets’ nest

The cost of eradication on private land will be met by the Animal and Plant Health Agency, who can be contacted through Defra on the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301. The Helpline is open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm. There is an out of hours facility on the same number for reporting suspicion of disease in animals. You can also email