Asian Hornet action page

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Asian Hornet. Beware! Be aware!
Asian hornet nest found at the top of a 55 foot tree
A nest, usually high up in a tree, can be the size of a large pumpkin (photo by the NBU).

Spot it, report it.

The Asian Hornet

Government alert: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/asian-hornets-identified-in-dover

There have been 43 confirmed Asian hornet nests in 2023 so far (12 September) and more sightings coming in daily. This is more than the previous six years combined: two sightings of Asian hornets last year, two in 2021 and one in 2020.

Asian hornets have caused havoc in France, where they have a stronghold, and have decimated honeybee populations. They hover in front of honeybee hives and capture bees as they enter and exit. They feed these to their young. They will also hugely impact native wild bee populations, which have even less protected than honey bee hives, where beekeepers can at least take measures to control the predator.

European hornets are very red and yellow compared to Asian hornets, which look almost black.

Asian hornets are very big compared to wasps and not nearly as stripy.

DO NOT APPROACH a nest if you spot one – they may sting! If you spot a nest, or an Asian hornet foraging on flowers or ivy, please report it instantly.

More details can be found for beekeepers here:

  • The Hornet and the Honey Bee
    • The Asian hornet was accidentally introduced into France in 2004, it quickly spread and in many parts it is a significant problem especially for beekeepers. Find out more – Download
  • Integrated Control in the Area Around the Apiary
    • An important control is the location and destruction of the Asian hornet nests. This is effective in reducing nest numbers and thus predation in apiaries. It is especially important that this is done before the nests release their sexuals in the autumn. Find out more – Download
  • Integrated Control in the Apiary
    • Integrated control is all about using a combination of the right measures at the right time in your own apiary. Find out more – Download

Resources for schools

The BBKA has produced some great Yellow Legged Hornet resources for use by schools. Find them here.

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