Vespa velutina is a species of hornet indigenous to South-East Asia. They're invasive to the UK and a deadly predator of honey bees and other beneficial insects. They're distinctively different when compared with the more yellow, European Hornet. Asian Hornets are slightly smaller, mostly black, with some orange-brown banding on the abdomen.
Hunt bees and other beneficial insects.
Adults: Queens can reach 3cm, but generally, are around 2.5cm. The body is mostly velvety black, but there's one prominent yellow/tan band on the abdomen. The face is orange, but the legs and antennae are yellow. European hornets are a little bigger, reaching 3-3.5cm. European species are mostly yellow-bodied, however, they lack yellow antennae or legs (unlike the Asian Hornet).
South-East Asia; introduced to Europe.
Please don't try to remove nests alone. Sightings must be reported to firstname.lastname@example.org. If a sighting is confirmed, then the National Bee Unit (NBU) and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) must be contacted to remove and eradicate the nest.
These hornets can become aggressive when threatened; it's recommended to contact either the National Bee Unit (NBU) and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) who will professionally remove the nest once a sighting has been confirmed by an expert.