More Asian hornets spotted in England

More Asian hornets spotted in England

Gardeners are urged to be vigilant. Subs Club subscribers can read more about this predator and how to report sightings.

Fresh sightings: the Asian hornet. Picture: Stewart Gould/BBKA

Six new sightings of Asian hornets were confirmed in September, and gardeners have again been asked to be vigilant. The Asian hornet Vespa velutina is native to China, but arrived in Europe in 2004 and is now widespread in parts of France, Spain, the Channel Islands and Portugal. It poses a threat to honey bees and other pollinating insects, so when a sighting is confirmed, experts from the National Bee Unit and the Animal and Plant Health Agency will work to find and destroy any active nests in the area.

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To date, there have been nine confirmed sightings of the Asian hornet in England, and five nests have been destroyed. Seven of these sightings occurred in 2018, and six in the past six weeks – three in Cornwall, two in Hampshire, and one in Yorkshire.

Asian hornets have a dark brown or black velvety body, a yellow or orange band on the fourth segment of the abdomen, and yellow-tipped legs. They are smaller than the native European hornet, and are not active at night.

Find out more, including how to report any sightings, at

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Steve Ott
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