Asian Hornet

What does the Asian Hornet 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).

For images of native European hornet please see Hornets section of Swarm Advice page.

Wiltshire Asian Hornet Co-ordinator:
Martin Phipps (07799 472084 / martincphipps@btinternet.com)

KBKA local Asian Hornet Co-ordinator:
Mario Caves (07771 571556 / ahat@kennet-beekeepers.co.uk)

Wiltshire BKA has, in advance of the BBKA, formed Asian Hornet Action Teams (AHATs) in all the five local areas of Wiltshire. For more information on AHATs, please visit ahat.org.uk

These teams have been set up to assist with local requests for help in identifying Asian Hornets.

All beekeepers are encouraged to keep an eye out for Asian hornets in their apiaries catching bees or on flowering plants feeding on nectar or other insects. In the winter months nests in deciduous trees may become visible.

Beekeepers enlisted on BeeBase with up to date contact and apiary details, will receive alerts via email from the NBU when Asian Hornets are sighted in their area.

The ID sheet and poster can be downloaded from the Asian hornet pages of BeeBase or ordered from the NBU office (nbu@apha.gsi.gov.uk).

Reporting Asian Hornet sightings

If you think you have seen an Asian Hornet, please try to take a picture and email it with details of where you saw it and your contact information to alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk or use the Asian Hornet Watch app.

If you wish to speak to someone locally about possible Asian Hornets please contact Asian Hornet Co-ordinator, Mario Cave (details above and on Contact KBKA page)

Monitoring and Trapping

It is illegal to trap and release an alien species. This means it is illegal to trap and release an Asian Hornet.

Monitoring traps can be used in the spring or late summer especially around risk points such as ports or areas where nests have occurred previously.

It is encouraged to trap and kill Asian Hornets using monitoring traps to confirm identity and assess via NBU their origin.

Do not approach Asian Hornet nests. Asian Hornets are extremely defensive when the nest is approached.

Beekeepers and Insurance

Beekeepers who have insurance via association memberships are insured for beekeeping activities including swarm collections, but they are NOT insured if trespassing or entering areas without the landowners permission.
They are NOT insured if involved in trapping and releasing Asian Hornets as this is an illegal activity, Asian Hornets are an invasive species and sightings must be reported.

Members of the public have NO insurance through the BBKA unless participating in Beekeeping activities with BBKA members.

Beekeepers involved in tracking hornets or searching for hornet nests in order to protect their bees are NOT insured if climbing ladders, trees or scaling buildings above the height specified in their BBKA policy concerning swarm collection.

Beekeepers should only be involved in tracking activities directed by the NBU and will not be insured if they are practically involved in Asian Hornet nest destruction, this will be undertaken by specialist Pest Controllers appointed by the NBU.

National Bee Unit (NBU) Response (led by Bee Inspectors)

  • If the Asian hornet found is from Europe and there is no risk that it is from a local nest then nothing further will happen
  • If flying Asian hornets are seen then a contingency response will be initiated and the local beekeepers association contacted. Alerts will be sent out from BeeBase across the county to increase awareness.

For Further information:

BeeBase Asian Hornet page: http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageId=370

BBKA Asian Hornet FAQs: https://www.bbka.org.uk/report-asian-hornet

Asian Hornet Action Team: http://ahat.org.uk

CEH Non Native Species Alert: http://www.brc.ac.uk/risc/alert.php?species=asian_hornet

Asian Hornet Watch Android App: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.ac.ceh.hornets