Asian Hornet

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 stings causing allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. 3 People died in Normandy France during August and September 2018 as a result of being stung. With Asian Hornets becoming more prolific this is now affecting people not only in the countryside but also in the towns they also have found a new food source in the refuse left about and poor collection of waste discarded food containers drink etc.

Be aware that there are reports from Spain that stings from Asian hornets are now the leading cause of anaphylactic reactions from Hymenoptera stings. There is an additional risk to internal organs from a toxic reaction when more than 10 stings are 
received. Reaction is more serious in unhealthy people and those with respiratory, heart, and other medical conditions requiring regular medication. Seek early medical help in the case of such multiple stings

The Asian Hornet is an omnivore-eating Carrion, fish. other insects as well as 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 a nest where the Asian Hornet will hover and pick them off, which will affect The whole Bee Family, bumble bees, wasps, and also lone Insects hovering over pools or Flora and Fauna such as Mothe Butterflies and Dragon flyes.

What does it look like?

  • Distinctive hornet, smaller than our native European Hornet species. A key feature is an 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 the European Hornet. Less likely to be confused with Queen Median Wasp.
  • The main difference between the European Hornet and the 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 are intrigued by moving targets and consider running a provocation. Crouch low to the ground, stop moving try to cover your head and move away quickly when possible
  • Asian 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 alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk
  • Do not under any circumstances disturb or provoke an active hornet’s nest

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

In France. the removal of the Asian Hornet and nest is paid for by the tenet of the House. The price varies from 20 euros to 200 euros plus depending on the location and sise of the Nest.

Asian Hornet life cycle

After hibernation in spring, the queen, usually measuring up to 3 cm, will emerge and seek out an appropriate sugary food source in order to build up energy to commence building a small embryonic nest. During the construction of the nest, she is alone and vulnerable, but she will rapidly begin laying eggs to produce the future workforce. As the colony and nest size increases, a larger nest is either established around the embryonic nest or they relocate and build elsewhere.

During the summer, a single colony, on average, produces 6000 individuals in one season. From July onwards, Asian hornet predation on honeybee colonies will begin and increase until the end of November and hornets can be seen hovering outside a hive entrance, waiting for returning foragers. This is the characteristic “hawking” behavior. When they catch a returning bee, they will take it away and feed off of the protein-rich thorax; the brood requires animal proteins which are transformed into flesh pellets and then offered to the larvae.

During autumn, the nest’s priorities shift from foraging and nest expansion to producing on average 350 potential gynes (queens) and male hornets for mating, however, of these potential queens, only a small amount will successfully mate and make it through winter. After the mating period, the newly fertilised queens will leave the nest and find somewhere suitable to over-winter, while the old queen will die, leaving the nest to dwindle and die off. The following spring, the founding queen will begin building her new colony and the process begins again.