The Asian hornet (Vespa velutina nigrithorax) is a species of hornet which is not native to the UK. It is smaller than our native European hornet (Vespa crabro) and single hornets pose no greater risk to human health than other hornets or bees. However, they do pose a risk to honey bees and pollinating insects. It is a highly effective predator of insects which can cause significant losses to bee colonies, other native species and potentially ecosystems.
The first confirmed sighting of an Asian hornet in mainland UK was in September 2016 in Tetbury, Gloucestershire. To date, there have been 14 confirmed sightings.