The Asian Hornet
The BeeHolder, Summer 2013
We are moving to the time of year when this insect is on the move and can, with a favourable wind, fly across from the French coast. Whilst the south coast is where it is most likely to land, please be vigilant. A hornet with a black abdomen with just one yellow segment and with yellow legs means that it is an Asian hornet - see the photograph.
Already invasive species like muntjac deer, grey squirrels and Japanese knotweed are causing problems in Britain (not to mention zebra mussels and tiger mosquitoes, which must be really frightening). The European Environment Agency are also worried that the bee-killing yellow-legged hornet may well arrive on Britain's shores by being accidentally smuggled in trade goods and tourist luggage.
The Asian hornet, which grows to between 2.5cm and 3cm (1-1.2 inches), preys on native honeybees, wasps and other pollinators, potentially devastating hives and threatening honey and crop production. Look on the BeeBase web site for more info on what to look for, what to do if you think that you have seen one, and how to make a home made trap.
Thanks to Bournemouth and Dorset South BKA and ebees
plus additional material researched from Daily Telegraph and Wikipedia