Asian Hornet (note yellow legs).
The Asian Hornet (Vespa velutina) is a non-native species that was accidentally introduced into the France in 2004. A number of sightings have been reported in the UK in 2016. To date, there have been 13 confirmed sightings of the Asian hornet in England and six nests have been destroyed
As a highly effective predator of insects, including honey bees and other beneficial species, it can cause significant losses to bee colonies, and potentially other native species
Although there have been no sightings in our area (yet…), we must be alert to the possibility of the threat in the coming months.
The National Bee Unit have produced a helpful fact sheet which can be viewed on their website here: www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageId=117
The fact sheet has links to download Identification Sheets and a useful guide to making a monitoring trap.
The National Non-native Species Secretariat also have a guide here: www.nonnativespecies.org//alerts/index.cfm?id=4
Also of interest to many beekeepers is the Mobile Phone App developed by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology which can be downloaded for free for iPhones and Android using the links below or from iTunes and Google Play.