What's the difference between
a Asian and a European hornet?

What's the difference between
a European hornet 
and an Asian hornet?

  • Hornets are types of wasp. As the name suggest, the European hornet is ntive to Europe. The Asian hornet (Vespa velutina), however, is an invasive speacies here.There have been a few recent sightings in the UK leading to concerns that they may harm our honey bee population.

  • An Asian hornet, having found a honey bee colony, will set about killing them all.
  • Both hornets are large with the Asian hornet worker growing to about 24mm long and the European hornet worker about 27mm long. (A common wasp will grow to only about 15mm)

  • A key distinguishing characteristic is the yellow legs of the Asian hornet.

  • Asian hornets are generally blacker than European hornets which are often more brown or reddish.

  • Both Asian and European hornets have nasty stings.

  • It is important to report any sightings of the Asian hornet in the UK so tht the population can be controlled and our bees protected. Please email details of sightings to alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk