July 17, 2024
Vespa velutina male. Photograph by Gilles San Martin. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

The yellow-legged Asian Hornet (Vespa velutina nigrithorax) is a voracious predator of honey bees and other insects.  It is not native to Europe but has become established in France and neighbouring countries. It is now encroaching on the UK and the UK authorities (Animal and Plant Health Agency’s National Bee Unit) are making strenuous efforts to stop it becoming established here. The hornet has the potential of inflicting massive damage to the UK ecosystem.

Do watch this short (1m20s) Asian Hornet Awareness Film produced by the British Beekeepers Association.

For a general description of the hornet and its lifecycle, please see this article.

Identify and Report

It is important that members of the public and beekeepers report sightings of the hornet and its nests. To avoid overload of the authorities, every effort should be made to avoid reporting of false sightings. A good aid to avoiding mistaken identification can be found here.

Beekeepers and the public are encouraged to install the Asian Hornet Watch app on their mobile phones to be able to report any credible sightings directly to the authorities. Photos or a specimen are essential to get your report seriously considered. Download the Asian Hornet Watch app from:

Advice, Information and Reporting Sightings

Bedfordshire Beekeepers Association (Beds BKA) has formed an Asian Hornet Team (AHT) to:

  • Provide advice to beekeepers and the public
  • Help raise public awareness
  • Verify possible sightings and report to UK authorities
  • Support the National Bee Unit (NBU) when requested (e.g. help to identify nest locations, monitor after nest destruction)

For advice, information or to report a possible sighting, please use the following: