I thought this was an Asian Hornet

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Silver

New Bee
Joined
Jun 23, 2020
Messages
19
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Location
Saltdean, Brighton
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
2
I was doing my usual watching the activity around the hive and checking for wasps etc, when I noticed a very large insect land on the adjacent shed. It looked very much like the dreaded Asian Hornet, so fly swat in hand I approached for a closer look and managed to get this photo below. A quick bit of research and a sigh of relief it was a Hornet Mimic Hoverfly, picture shown below. Its actually very pretty, and it appears completely harmless
 

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I was doing my usual watching the activity around the hive and checking for wasps etc, when I noticed a very large insect land on the adjacent shed. It looked very much like the dreaded Asian Hornet, so fly swat in hand I approached for a closer look and managed to get this photo below. A quick bit of research and a sigh of relief it was a Hornet Mimic Hoverfly, picture shown below. Its actually very pretty, and it appears completely harmless

Yes Velutina is a dark insect. Also you can tell a fly from a wasp easily looking at it’s huge eyes.
 
beautiful photo.
 
I don't know if it's just coincidence, but I often see a hornet mimic hover fly around my hives in the garden. The hives seem to be a magnet to them, although I can't find any reason why that might be the case. I even have them sitting on the adjacent hive while I'm inspecting one. Perhaps they just like the company? :)
 
Yes Velutina is a dark insect. Also you can tell a fly from a wasp easily looking at it’s huge eyes.
And lack of pronounced antennae which wasps including hornets use as measuring sticks and protractors for marking out their cells when building them.
 
Thanks for the replies, we had a nasty experience in France with an Asian Hornet, which seemed to like our barn - the wife fortunately had goggles on when it went for her - between the eyes - it was despatched after quite a few hits I might add. We then discovered a neighbour had an absolutely massive hive at the top of one of his trees about a half mile away, which was eventually taken down.

These things are very nasty and extremely aggressive, so I sincerely hope they don't get a foothold in the UK
 
These things are very nasty and extremely aggressive, so I sincerely hope they don't get a foothold in the UK
Indeed
Every beekeeper in the UK should be able to recognise one and definitely be able to differentiate it from our native hornet which is a remarkable creature

:nature-smiley-013:
 
Indeed
Every beekeeper in the UK should be able to recognise one and definitely be able to differentiate it from our native hornet which is a remarkable creature

:nature-smiley-013:

Agreed. I’ve only seen a few natives this year so far. Too many wasps, too few hornets.
 
Asian Hornet Watch app show all UK hornet and you can report any Asians directly
 
Keep a look-out for this insect too! I was brought one as a possible AH because of the yellow legs. But the AH is of course much darker on the abdomen. Hornet Moth
 
As a member of the local AHAT (asian hornet action team) I encourage all beekeepers to make themselves aware. Buy a trap, preferably a live catch as you can let the native European free, and monitor all your apiaries. Very important in the spring to catch queens and in the late summer when workers are out but virgin queens are yet to emerge. The reports from France are very alarming and its progression towards the channel relentless.
 
Very important to put up monitoring traps rather than 'killing' traps which can decimate the local pollinator population.

The NBU have a useful YouTube video on how to make your own:

 
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