The Asian hornet, or ‘yellow-legged hornet’, is an ‘alien invader’ and a serious threat to our honeybees and other pollinating insects. They hover (hawk) in front of beehives, catching the bees for food or causing the bees to remain in the hive, unable to forage for pollen and nectar: either way, the hive can die out. They also eat many of our other pollinating insects. The upper photo is of an Asian hornet (courtesy of BBKA), the lower one, a European (native) hornet (AHAT).
The main differences between the two species can be seen in a diagram by clicking here.
The UK is working hard to prevent the Asian hornet from invading us. Please use the Asian Hornet Watch app on your phone to send a picture and a location via GPS in the app straight to the non-native species secretariat and National Bee Unit. Alternatively, please take a photo and email it with your contact details and where it was seen to firstname.lastname@example.org
Your vigilance is very important!