UK public urged to report sightings of dangerous Asian Hornets

The UK government is calling on the public to report any sightings of the Asian Hornet,a species which is not native to the UK. It is smaller than our native hornet and single hornets pose no greater risk to human health than other hornets or bees.

However, they do pose a risk to honey bees and pollinating insects. This is why HMG is keen to stop this insect establishing in the UK, and why they want to know about suspected sightings.

An Asian hornet sighting was confirmed in the Tamworth area of Staffordshire on 2 September 2019. A nest was located and has now been destroyed. Earlier in the year a single hornet was confirmed in New Milton, Hampshire. In each case the hornets were spotted and reported by a member of the public.

Since 2016, there have been a total of 15 confirmed sightings of the Asian hornet in England and seven nests have been destroyed.

There have also been reports in other countries of Asian hornets becoming aggressive when their nests are disturbed. If you find a nest, don’t try to remove it yourself – it can be dangerous and should only be done by experts. When a sighting is confirmed, experts from the National Bee Unit (NBU) and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) will work quickly to find and destroy any active nests in the area.

HMG advice

How to spot an Asian hornet

Asian hornets:

  • have a dark brown or black velvety body
  • have a yellow or orange band on fourth segment of abdomen
  • have yellow tipped legs
  • are smaller than the native European hornet
  • are not active at night

Guidance on how to identify an Asian hornet.

How to report an Asian hornet

If you suspect you have seen an Asian hornet you should report this using the ‘Asian Hornet Watch’ app:

You can also report sightings by email: alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk. Please include information on location, date and number of Asian hornets you have seen. Please also include a photo if you can to help our experts identify the insect.

Alternatively, you can fill out an online report form

If you find a nest, don’t try to remove it yourself – it can be dangerous and should only be done by experts.

When a sighting is confirmed, experts from the National Bee Unit (NBU) and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) will work quickly to find and destroy any active nests in the area.

An Asian hornet sighting was confirmed in the Tamworth area of Staffordshire on 2nd September 2019. A nest was located and was destroyed. Earlier in the year a single hornet was confirmed in New Milton, Hampshire. In each case the hornets were spotted and reported by a member of the public.

Since 2016, there have been a total of 15 confirmed sightings of the Asian hornet in England and seven nests have been destroyed.

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