Asian hornets are a species of hornet which is not native to the UK.

It is smaller than our native hornet and poses no greater risk to human health than other hornets or bees.

However, they do pose a risk to honey bees and pollinating insects.

Earlier this month the first UK sighting of an Asian hornet of the year was confirmed in New Milton, Hampshire.

This was the first confirmed sighting since October 2018.

Since 2016, there have been a total of 14 confirmed sightings of the Asian hornet in England and six nests have been destroyed.

The Government is keen to stop the insect establishing in the UK.

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.

It is crucial you report any possible sightings so experts can take quick and effective action to eradicate Asian hornets.

Nicola Spence, Chief Plant Health Officer, said: "By ensuring we are alerted to possible sightings as early as possible, we can take swift and effective action to stamp out the threat posed by Asian hornets.

"While the Asian hornet poses no greater risk to human health than a bee, we recognise the damage they can cause to honey bee colonies and other beneficial insects.

"Please continue to look out for any Asian hornets and if you think you’ve spotted one, report your sighting through the Asian hornet app or online."

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

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:

Asian Hornet Watch app for iPhone

Asian Hornet Watch app for android

You can also report sightings by email:

Include information on location, date and number of Asian hornets you have seen. Include a photo if you can to help experts identify the insect.

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