Asian Hornet

Asian Hornets are an Alien species and voracious predators of honey bees and other insects. It is thought that the first Hornet arrived in France in 2004 from Asia and since then has spread rapidly throughout Europe. The first nest was found in the UK in 2016 and up to the end of 2022 the total number of nests found and destroyed were 13. In 2023, 72 nests were found!

Difference between Asian Hornet (Left) and Native European Hornet (Right)

The Asian Hornet (or Yellow Legged Hornet) is not to be confused with the Giant Asian Hornet which is not present in the UK. The Asian Hornet is about 25mm long mostly dark with yellow legs. It is not to be confused with our own native hornet the European Hornet which is a bit bigger at about 30mm and is mostly orange with brown legs. The Asian Hornet is quiet when flying and not aggressive, the European hornet is noisy, bigger, and also nonaggressive. All hornets will defend their nests and this is particularly true of the Asian Hornet which will respond rapidly within a proximity of 5-10m. Asian Hornets do not fly at night, unlike the European which can sometimes be seen at night buzzing around lights which confuse them. The first worker hornets appear in June but they will mostly be seen in later summer and autumn possibly feeding on sweet things such as fallen fruit and on Ivy flowers.

Asian Hornets are an invasive species and the public play am important part in spotting them so that they can then lead to the nest. It is very crucial that you report any sightings and take a photo if you can. 

More information about Asian Hornets can be found hereIf you see an Asian Hornet, please report it immediately! Take a photo, note the location, and report below. 

Report A Sighting!

With the Asian Hornet Watch App in your app store.




Photo courtesy of Angus Deuchar