Asian Hornet (Vespa velutina)
17 March 2017 update:
SG today confirmed that a single Asian Hornet, Vespa velutina had been identified at a retail warehouse in the central belt of Scotland. The Asian Hornet is a non-native species and a serious predator of honey bees and other pollinators which has recently become established in Europe. There are no more public health risks associated with Asian hornets than with other bees or wasps.
Asian hornets were first identified in the GB during autumn 2016, that outbreak was dealt with and no further reports have been confirmed since. It is not possible to identify the origin of this individual and no further sightings have been made, however for surveillance purposes SG has placed Asian Hornet traps in the area and alerted the pest control industry and beekeepers to be vigilant for this species
20 September 2016
The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) National Bee Unit has confirmed sighting of the Asian hornet in the Tetbury area of Gloucestershire. This is the first time the hornet has been discovered in the UK.
DEFRA issued a press release on 20 September 2016 about the sighting, the full text of which can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/asian-hornet-identified-in-gloucestershire.
The Asian Hornet is an invasive non-native species from Asia which is a highly effective and aggressive predator of insects and can cause significant loss to bee colonies and other native species. It is a GB Alert Species and monitoring for its arrival is strongly recommended. All beekeepers should therefore be on the look-out and further advice on what to look for and guidance on how to make a hornet trap are available via BeeBase:
If you think you have seen an Asian Hornet, please notify the GB Non-Native Species Secretariat (NNSS):
or by completing the Asian Hornet reporting form which can be accessed via the NNSS website:
Samples and photographs may be sent to Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) for confirmation. Please provide your address and contact details along with as much detail as possible about the hornet (e.g. the shape, size, colour of the body and legs as well as information on where you found it). Packages should be marked: “Asian Hornet sample” and sent to:
Fiona Highet (Entomology Manager)
Virology and Zoology Section
Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA)
If you still have any concerns then please contact BeesMailbox@gov.scot and one of our colleagues will get back to you.