Asian Hornet

Look Out For Asian Hornets

What Do They Look Like? 

  • Slightly smaller than native European hornet. Asian Hornet queens are up to 3 cm in length; workers up to 25 mm
  • Dark abdomen, 4th segment yellow
  • Bright yellow tips to legs (native hornet dark)
  • Entirely brown or black thorax (native hornet more orange).

During August the wasps will begin their annual search for a way into your beehives with the intention of stealing honey. Their presence is usually pretty obvious but, these days, beekeepers should also be on the lookout for Asian Hornets as well. The presence of Asian Hornets may not be quite as obvious. They may be ‘hawking’ in front of the hive or ‘skulking’ behind or under it to seize tired or unwary bees which they will butcher before taking the thorax (which is high in protein) back to feed to their larvae.

We hope that Asian Hornets do not get into this country but we must all be on our guard – the earlier the presence of Asian Hornets is detected the sooner action can be taken to find and destroy the nest. 

If you are not sure how to identify the Asian Hornet, click on this factsheet from the NBU website: ASIAN HORNET FACTSHEET.
If you think that you have seen an Asian Hornet, try to capture a specimen or take a good photo (video is often more effective) and report the sighting to the Non Native Species Secretariat at: alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk

Remember to report the sighting to the Branch ‘Asian Hornet Action Team’ (David Newell 01373 825560, AHAT-WWBKA@outlook.com) and to the Branch Secretary, Secretary-WWBKA@outlook.com)as well. The AHAT team will be willing to assist in obtaining a photograph or a specimen.

The Secretary will ensure that all Branch and Wiltshire County members are notified that an Asian Hornet has been sighted locally.