Asian Hornet

The Tetbury 55ft conifer nest near top. Photo © Beebase

Asian Hornets nest at Tetbury. Photo © Beebase

Close up of the nest Photo © Beebase

A DIY hornet guard on aFrench hive.


Tetbury Asian hornet nest found 50ft up a conifer.
Photo © BeeBase

GOOD NEWS!! The team from DEFRA announced that the asian hornet nest was found approx 50ft up a 55ft conifer tree.

Experts caught "several" Asian hornets attacking bee hives since the first confirmed British sighting.

Sightings of the destructive Asian Hornet were made in Tetbury before the nest was found and destroyed. The  Asian Hornet nest was sent for testing, while beekeepers, Defra, and the National Bee Unit are looking for any further signs of the destructive invader.

Peter Lead of Stroud Beekeepers said one nest can 'throw' up to 300 queens which can start another hive.

“The potential for spread is scary, that's why we are being so vigilant," said Mr Lead, from Woodchester. “I have had two bee inspectors here today and we now  have hornet traps installed."

"Fortunately the NBU have been expecting the arrival of the Asian hornet for some time and had a contingency plan ready to go. 

"The NBU has caught several hornets and examined their genetics; it appears 
that these hornets are related to those in France. so they have not come in from China or another country". 

"This is important because they are obviously breeding from quite a small genetic pool and may have been weakened from in-breeding. 

"The issue is whether they flew directly from France to Gloucester which is considered unlikely. 

"So they may be in other locations already. This needs to be established.

This article is based on information first published in "GloucestershireLive".

As there is no information to date as to actually  where these hornets came from, ALL beekeepers in the U.K. are asked to keep a watchful eye out for this destructive invader.

We urge anyone to report suspect Asian hornet sightings to



Hornet being "balled" - Heated to death!

An Asian Hornet 'hawking' in front of a honey bee hive .
Photo copyright "The Telegraph"


A quick update is that two asians hornets were actually seen 'hawking' in front of a hive, so this proves there is a nest nearby.

Nicola Spence o DEFRA announced that currently there is an official emergency restricted area around the site where these hornets were caught. Extra funding has been issued to cover the excess work required to put an end to this serious problem.

The restricted area is being currently searched by a team of FERA officials, including bee inspectors from around the country whose task is to rapidly locate the nest.

Once found there is a specialised team on hand to destroy the nest. This will need special expertise as the Asian Hornet nests normally high up in trees, well above the height known for our European Wasps.

We will keep you posted on developments 


There are around a dozen known subspecies of the Asian hornet- Vespa velutina (2).

Also known as  the 'yellow-legged' hornet.

Synonyms Vespa aurariaVespa fruhstorferiVespa immaculata.
Size     Adult queen length: up to 3 cm (2) (3)
Adult worker length: up to 2.5 cm (3)

 Please remember these hornets have a sting that is up to six times more powerful than our native wasp, several people have died in France from their sting!

Experts adivse the public not to antagonise this hornet as they have been known to attacktheir human agressors.

Hornets Nest high up in tree.


Asian Hornet
Vespa velutina

The National Bee Unit has confirmed a sighting of the Asian hornet (Vespa velutina)  in the Tetbury area of Gloucestershire – the first time the hornet has been discovered in the UK.

The Asian hornet is smaller than our native hornet and poses no greater risk to human health than a bee. However, they do pose a risk to honey bees.

Work to identify, destroy and remove any nests is already underway, which includes:

  • setting up a 3 mile surveillance zone around Tetbury
  • opening a local control centre to coordinate the response
  • deploying bee inspectors across the area who will use infrared cameras and traps to locate any nests
  • readying nest disposal experts who will use pesticides to kill the hornets and destroy any nests

Nicola Spence, Defra Deputy Director for Plant and Bee Health, said:

We have been anticipating the arrival of the Asian hornet for some years and have a well-established protocol in place to eradicate them and control any potential spread.

It is important to remember they pose no greater risk to human health than a bee, though we recognise the damage they can cause to honey bee colonies. That’s why we are taking swift and robust action to identify and destroy any nests.

We remain vigilant across the country, working closely with the National Bee Unit and their nationwide network of bee inspectors.

A local control centre will be opened tomorrow near Tetbury and bee inspectors from around England will be closely monitoring a three mile radius around the initial sighting.

They will be supported by nest disposal experts who will use an approved pesticide to destroy any hornets and remove any nests.

The hornet found in Tetbury is currently undergoing DNA testing at the National Bee Unit in North Yorkshire to help establish how it arrived in the UK.

The hornet arrived in France in 2004 and is now common across large areas of Europe. It was discovered for the first time in Jersey and Alderney this summer. It is believed the species will not be able survive in the north of the UK due to colder winters.

Notes to Editor

  1. For advice on what to do if you believe you have seen an Asian hornet please go to the non-native species website

  2. Anyone who believes they have found a nest should not go near it and report it to

  3. The cost of eradication on private land will be met by APHA

  4. For details on the appearance of an Asian hornet please can be found onBee Base guide or the non-native species identification guide 



Let us have your opinion on whether losing bees and bee farmers going bust is for the greater good of preventing problems with the ZIKA VIRUS.

"Huddled around their hives, beekeepers around the south-eastern US fear a new threat to their livelihood: a fine mist beaded with neurotoxin, sprayed from the sky by officials at war with mosquitos that carry the Zika virus."

Check out rest of the article at :-

Video of an European Hornet lunching on a honeybee (hit the forward arrow)

Thanks for sharing the video go to the owner of the munched on honeybee - Richard Lambeth.
Richard said "I saw the hornet at my hives it came twice and I watched it hawking and catching a bee then kill it before carrying it away, until then I was not aware the European hornet did this, I hope you find this video as fascinating as I do."

This is an European Hornet more inormation at :-
Check out this amazing hornet v honey bee video at-:

The Asian Hornet poses a HUGE threat to our bees in the UK and has beeen found in the Channe Isles - more info:-


4. Sep, 2016


Hi Beefolks,
I thought I had better pass this tip about bee stings on to you.
A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine ( a non beekeeper) got stung on his forehead while he was near my hives. My son said go and put some TCP on the sting telling him there was some in our bathroom cabinet. We always use TCP for stings and, our friend rushed into my home only to find my wife was taking a bath and he couldn't get to the TCP !
Instead he went into our separate loo and seeing no TCP but spotted some toothpaste on the sink shelf, he squeezed some onto his finger and applied it to the sting. He reported that within minutes the pain had gone. When I was told of this I thought "Yeh right!" this can't be true and thought my friend was just being macho and pretending the toothpaste had worked while quietly suffering from the sting.
Today while painting a fence by my hives, I was stung twice once on my neck and once under my eye. I decided to try the toothpaste treatment and low and behold it worked ! The pain of the sting dissipated totally over the next ten minutes. All that was left were two white spots of dried toothpaste which easily washed off.
All I can say in conclusion , why not try toothpaste on your next sting? If it doesn't work for you then go back to using your own treatment or, try TCP which I can guarantee does work and it also sterilises the sting site as bees have dirty feet.
Graham Robinson - Editor

4. Sep, 2016

The Alan Barnes Postumous Donation to Ashgate Hospice

At the recent meeting of Chesterfield and District Bee Keepers Association, a cheque for £1500 was presented to Ashgate Hospice. The money was raised from sales of bee keeping equipment donated by the family of the late Alan Barnes.  The total of £3000 was shared with Chesterfield and District Bee keepers Association. 

Alan was President of the Association for many years and was highly respected by all who knew him.  He kept bees for over 50 years. He worked tirelessly for the Association and was always ready to help other bee keepers.  

The cheque was presented to Maurice Suter representing Ashgate Hospice by Dave Whitmore (president of CDBKA).

In the photo – representing Alan's family, brother Paul Barnes and nephew Andrew.

June Harvey - Chair Person, Maurice Suter, Dave Whitmore - President and Geoff Matthews.