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Vespa velutina, the yellow legged hornet, commonly known as the Asian Hornet, is native to Asia and was confirmed for the first time in Lot-et-Garonne in the South West of France in 2004.  It was thought to have been imported in a consignment of pottery from China and it quickly established and spread to many regions of France.

The Hornet preys on honeybees, Apis Mellifera, and disrupts the ecological role which it provides and damages commercial beekeeping activities.  It has also altered the biodiversity in regions of France where it is present and can be a health risk to those who have allergies to hornet and wasp stings.

In 2016, the Asian Hornet was discovered in the UK for the first time, in Tetbury.

The following year, in 2017, another Asian Hornet nest was discovered in Woolacombe by a vigilant beekeeper who reported seeing Asian Hornets hawking and hunting in his apiary.

Based upon previous experience on the Continent, it is very likely to be well established already in the British Isles and constant vigilance will be required to detect and notify for destruction of this pest.

If you think you see an Asian Hornet then ideally you should:

  • Try and get a photo or a video of it.
  • Take a note of the time, location and the number of Asian hornets you see.

If you are unable to get a photo/video or dead insect but think it is an Asian Hornet, then please contact Tavistock Beekeepers Asian Hornet Team on Kate 07870260035 or Helen 07790590977. We will arrange for someone to place a monitoring station in the location, so that we can get a photographic evidence.

If you have a photograph, video or insect sample then please immediately contact the Non Native Species Secretariat at: You need to include information on the location, date, and number of Asian Hornets you have seen.

If you find a nest. DON’T TRY TO REMOVE IT YOURSELF, it can be dangerous and should be only done by experts. Contact the Non Native Species Secretariat:  

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