Bee-ware the Asian hornet
I did say that this sounds like science fiction, but it really is science fact. That is why Defra has established a three-mile surveillance zone around the site in Gloucester where just two Asian hornets were found (one of them was already dead.) The scientists are using infrared cameras and traps to find any nests.
- The Asian hornet (Vespa velutina) queens are up to 3 cm in length; workers up to 25 mm (slightly smaller than the native European hornet Vespa crabro)
- They are entirely dark brown or black velvety body, bordered with a fine yellow band
- They have only one band on the abdomen: 4th abdominal segment almost entirely yellow/orange
- Their legs are brown with yellow ends
- They have black heads with an orange-yellow face
- Unlike European hornets, the Asian hornet flies about during the day but ceases activity at dusk.