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Asian Hornet - Vespa Velutina

The Threat They Pose?
"Asian hornets are a non-native invasive predator of medium to large insects. They pose a serious threat to our native pollinators and, throughout the summer, honey bees can make up a substantial part of their diet as they build their nests up to several thousand individuals."     

Animal and Plant Health Agency, DEFRA, UK GOV

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Asian Hornet

Vespa velutina

significant threat to honeybees, pollinators, our fruit crop and people


European Hornet

Vespa crabro

part of our natural eco-system - harmless if left alone


Common Wasp

Vespula vulgaris

irritating around people, however part of the natural eco-system

Giant Woodwasp

Urocerus gigas

Harmless member of our woodland eco-system

Asian Hornets in Europe?
Asian hornet, is native to Asia and was confirmed for the first time in the South West of France in 2004. It was thought to have been imported in a consignment of pottery from China. As of December 2022, Asian hornet is established in Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Jersey and now the South of England.

Asian Hornets in the UK? The Asian hornet was discovered in the UK for the first time, in 2016. In subsequent years there have been further sightings with action taken to find and destroy nests. In 2023 there were 72 Asian hornet nests found in 56 locations, the AH  will soon be considered as "uncontained" in the South of England. This means it will now spread with some forecasts estimating complete UK coverage to be by 2027/8. There has already been numerous sightings in 2024.

Asian Hornets - Danger?

The hornet preys on a wide range of insects and pollinators, including honeybees, and disrupts the ecological role they provide in respect of fruit production. It has also altered the biodiversity in regions of France where it is present and demonstrates aggressive behaviour with a painful sting which can be a severe health risk to those who have allergies to hornet or wasp stings.

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What Can You Do?
Download the Asian Hornet APP for Apple (iPhone) or Android (e.g. Samsung)  to your mobile phone.

click here for Apple

click here for Android

    or if not on mobile

 Study the looks and habits of the Asian hornet so as not to confuse it with our own native species of insects.

Don't attempt to approach one too closely or go near a nest!

What Action Is Being Taken?

In coordination with the National Bee Unit, of the APHA of DEFRA, the British Beekeepers' Association is developing Asian Hornet Teams  around the country to help identify, report and track sightings of Asian Hornets. These teams are in various stages of development and their coordinators can be found on the map to the right. Associations throughout Cumbria are collaborating to provide a response group, the Cumbria Asian Hornet Action Team.

Cumbria AHT Coordinators

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Latest Information for Beekeepers

Two very informative conference videos by Andrew Durham for the BBKA

BBKA / NBU Asian Hornet Conference February 2024

link to YouTube  Here

Guide to Section Timings:

  • NBU Brief                       [0:10:10 to 0:41:43]

  • BBKA er2 Brief                [0:42:42 to 1:04:55]

  • BBKA Outreach Officer     [1:05:43 to 1:17:20]

  • Jersey Update                 [1:18:07 to 2:03:56]

  • Dover BKA Brief              [2:05:07 to 2:56:57]

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Useful Links

National Bee Unit                                                BBKA AHT                                    Non-Native Species ID 


Please Spread the Word !




Asian hornet preying on honeybees

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AH Protection Advice for Beekeepers - Courtesy of Andrew Durham CBKA

The Latest Researched Information to help Beekeepers from the BBKA

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