Asian Hornets: What are the terrifying insects and what to do if you find one in the UK

Bees or wasps, many Britons are not the biggest fans of insects.

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Now, there is another insect to care for this summer, in the form of the Asian Hornet.

The species is not native to the UK, but has been seen in several places, including Staffordshire, Hampshire and Kent.

Asian bumblebees are slightly smaller than the native European bumblebee, and although they are generally not dangerous to humans, they pose a risk to bees and insect pollinators.

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Speaking to Mirror Online, Professor Helen Roy, an ecologist at the British Center for Ecology and Hydrology, shed light on the species.

Here is everything you need to know about Asian Hornets, including what they are and what to do if you find one in the UK.

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What are Asian drones?

The Asian hornet is a species of hornet that is not native to the United Kingdom.

It is smaller than our native drone, with queens measuring up to 30 mm and workers up to 25 mm in length.



It is smaller than our native drone, with queens measuring up to 30 mm and workers up to 25 mm in length

Professor Roy said: “They are easily recognized for their appearance and difficult to confuse with any other species.

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“The chest is a velvety black / dark brown with brown abdominal segments delimited by a thin yellow band. Only the fourth abdominal segment is almost entirely yellowish orange.

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"The legs are brown with yellow tips and the head is black with a yellow-orange face."

Are there Asian drones in the UK?

There are currently no known populations of Asian wasps in the UK, but that could change as the summer approaches.

Professor Roy said: "People should be aware of the arrival of this non-native invasive species throughout the year, but mainly during spring, summer and autumn, when most insects are active".



The Asian hornet is a species of hornet that is not native to the United Kingdom

Over the past five years, ecologists have been increasingly concerned about the potential of the Asian Hornet reaching the UK, according to Professor Roy.

She explained: “The Asian Hornet was first reported in 2004 in France and later spread quickly.

"As a predatory insect, it poses a threat to biodiversity, mainly insect pollinators, including bees, but also wild pollinators."

Are Asian hornets dangerous to humans?

Unless you are allergic, luckily Asian Hornets are generally not dangerous to humans.

Professor Roy said, "The Asian drone is generally not aggressive, although the bites can be painful and very few people may be allergic to the bite."



The legs are brown with yellow tips and the head is black with a yellow-orange face.

Are Asian drones the same as Asian giant drones?

Although they have very similar names, Asian drones are actually a different species from Asian giant drones, which are often referred to as & quot; killer drones & # 39 ;.

Asian giant hornets are generally found in Japan, but have also been found in the US in recent weeks.

They are much more dangerous than Asian wasps, with huge stingers capable of penetrating beekeeping suits.

Speaking to Mirror Online, a spokesman for DEFRA said: "There have been no confirmed sightings of Asian giant wasps in Europe and this species should not be confused with the most common Asian wasps."



Asian giant hornets (pictured below) are generally found in Japan, but have also been found in the US in recent weeks

What should you do if you see an Asian Hornet?

If you see a nest of Asian drones or Asian drones, it is best to report the sighting and not deal with the insects.

Professor Roy said: "We do not recommend that anyone take direct action. Instead, they should quickly report any signs of concern. on here or the Asian Hornet Watch app. "

Asian Hornet Watch app for iPhone

Asian Hornet Watch app for android


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According to Professor Roy, many Britons are already using the app, helping ecologists to track the movement of insects across the UK.

She concluded: “The response from people across the UK so far has been incredible. There have been very few confirmed sightings of the Asian Hornet and a quick response has ensured that there are no established populations in the UK.

"We thank everyone who has contributed so far and encourage people to continue to send in their appearances of concern."

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