Asian Hornet Awareness for Wiltshire

Asian Hornet Awareness for Wiltshire

This image was sourced from: Images from UK Government and J Haxaire, Rachel Scopes, Nigel Jones and Richard Ball.

The UKs Chief Plant Health Officer Professor Nicola Spence has issued a new warning urging UK beekeepers and the public to be increasingly vigilant to the presence of Asian hornet and report any sightings as we move into the peak summer season.

The Asian hornet was discovered in the UK in 2016 having arrived in France around 2004, following an accidental import from China in 2023.

The Asian hornet is smaller than our native hornet and poses no greater risk to human health than our native wasps and hornets, however they do pose a risk to honeybees and insect pollinations and have no natural predators within the UK.

The Asian hornet has a habit of hovering outside of the hive and stops bees from collecting nectar and pollen to feed themselves. Their introduction to France since 2004 has already altered the biodiversity of the country.

Last year more nests were found and destroyed than the previous 6 years combined, raising fears the insect could soon become established here, with the impacts of such a scenario still largely unknown. 

The British Beekeepers’ Association, is working alongside Defra and the National Bee Unit to help raise awareness of the threat posed by the ‘yellow-legged’ Asian hornet.

Wiltshire and Swindon Prepared is assessing the risk locally and is working with the national bodies to promote the reporting of any suspected Asian Hornets with a photo:

Help with identifying an Asian Hornet:

Asian Hornet Vespa Velutina | British Beekeepers Association (



How to identify an Asian Hornet

Quick factsheet on how to identify an Asian Hornet and how to report them