Asian hornet

Vespa velutina

Overview

The Asian hornet is native to South-East Asia and was probably introduced by accident through imported goods from China. Since its first recording in France in 2005, it has spread rapidly into Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. The Asian hornet is a highly effective predator of honeybees, wasps and other important pollinators, such as hoverflies. The huge size of its colonies (consisting of up to 10,000 individuals per season) means that they can rapidly decimate entire beehives. Observations in France noted losses of 14,000 honeybees per hive per month. Due to its aggressive nature and feeding habits, it could have a serious impact on native insect biodiversity and on pollination services in general. Given that queen hornets are highly mobile and very adaptable, there is a strong risk that the species will be able to spread rapidly across the landscape, causing significant economic and ecological damage. EU-level action seeks to prevent this spread by inter alia rapidly destroying its nests. In addition, where the species has become widely spread, appropriate management measures have to be taken.
26th September 2017 - Due to confirmed sighting in Devon - NIEA have issued a Species Alert;
Invasive Species Ireland

Invasive Species Ireland