For years British beekeepers have known that the Asian predatory hornet could one day arrive on their mainland. Sure enough, a single specimen was discovered in the Tetbury area of Gloucestershire on September Found by a private citizen, the hornet was positively identified by the British Bee Unit as Vespa velutina, the dreaded Asian predatory hornet. A three-mile quarantine area was immediately established and a hunt for further individuals began. About a week later the nest was found in a conifer, 55 feet off the ground.
The Wageningen bee experts will itemise whether and how beekeepers can prepare for the arrival of the Asian predatory wasp. The Asian predatory wasp Vespa vetulina is an exotic vespoid that came over from China to Europe in It is believed that a queen reached France packed in boxes of pottery. From that point, the wasp has slowly been spreading across the continent.
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The Asian hornet , also known as the yellow-legged hornet Vespa velutina , is a species of hornet indigenous to Southeast Asia. It is of concern as an invasive species in some other countries. Vespa velutina is slightly smaller than the European hornet. The thorax is a velvety brown or black with a brown abdomen. Each abdominal segment has a narrow posterior yellow border, except for the fourth segment, which is orange.
A female Asian hornet Vespa velutina. These insects are specialised honeybee predators. Asian hornets have been seen in Britain since Hornets are the largest members of the wasp family Vespidae and this predatory species could have a devastating impact on British honeybees. Dr Gavin Broad , a wasp expert at the Museum, explains why British beekeepers are concerned about the Asian hornet Vespa velutina.