The Asian Hornet (Vespa velutina) is spreading across Europe. Unlike the native European Hornet (Vespa crabro) the Asian Hornet is a predator of honey bees and can severely damage bee colonies. It also feeds on other insects, fruit and flowers.
How to identify the Asian Hornet (Vespa velutina)
Slightly smaller than the native European Hornet, it is the only hornet or wasp with an entirely dark brown or black velvety body, bordered with a fine yellow band.
Risk to human health
The Asian Hornet presents no greater threat to human health than native hornets but be careful if you suspect Asian Hornets in the area.
Do not disturb an active nest. These are usually high in trees, but can sometimes be closer to the ground.
The information below will help you to identify Asian Hornets. If you think you have found Asian Hornets or a nest, send a photograph (if possible) and its location to Department of the Environment.
Asian Hornet Identification leaflet
Hymettus information sheet on Asian Hornet (Vespa velutina)
Hymettus information sheet on European Hornet (Vespa crabo)
NNSS information sheet on Asian Hornet (Vespa velutina)