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Asian Hornet – STOP PRESS

21st May 2020

Killer Hornet

You might have read in the press about the Asian Giant Hornet (Vespa mandarinia), also known as the ‘Killer/Murder Hornet’, and how one has recently killed an individual in Spain.

There is a lot of confusion around reporting this insect and several newspapers have shown photographs of Asian Hornets (Vespa veluntina) in their articles about Asian Giant Hornets. These are different species and V. mandarina has not been found in the UK and so poses no threat. 

The hornet we are concerned about is V. velutina. It is much smaller (about 2.5 cm in length), has distinctive yellow legs and a single wide yellow band on its abdomen. While it can sting, this is said to be about as potent as a wasp’s sting.

European Hornets (Vespa crabro)

Many people are reporting sightings of the native or European hornet, which is coming out of hibernation and looking for food and nesting sites. These creatures are often confused with Asian Hornets (V. velutina). However, V. crabro are the good guys and ideally should not be injured and should be let out of any monitoring traps you have in the apiary. 

Asian hornet (V. velutina)

European hornet (V. crabro)