How to differentiate the European hornet from the Asian hornet?

    -Asian hornet’s legs or « yellow legs hornet » are bicolor: black and lemon yellow.

    The European hornet’s legs are completely brown.

    - The Asian hornet attacks continuously, when it feels threatened because we approach the nest too closely, it keeps attacking while we’re still nearby. The European hornet doesn’t do that.

    -The European hornet doesn’t attack in groups and only sting if you cross its path.

    -The European hornet’s nest has a big entry (more than 10 cm) mostly positioned on the bottom and aimed towards the south. You can find it almost always in the darkness and in the covered places like a tree trunk or an attic.

    The Asian one possesses a little entry (less than 4 cm) which is also on the bottom but on the side when it’s more than 15 cm in diameter. The nest is quite spherical and much less hidden than the European hornet. It is located more in the bright areas.

    crabro et velutina - vue de dessus 

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  • The Asian hornet has many subspecies. A black subspecies, Vespa Velutina Nigrithorax, was introduced into Europe before 2004 where it has become an invasive species. By April 2017, the hornet had already colonized most of France, Portugal, northern Spain and parts of Italy, Germany, Belgium and Great Britain.

    Colonization and geography of the Asian hornet


    Translated Legend:

    Distribution of Vespa Velutina in France from 2004 to 2016

    Departments colonized between 2004 and 2010
    Colonized departments between 2011 and 2015
    Departments in the process of colonization (2016)

    Vespa velutina was first observed in France in 2004 in Lot-et-Garonne, probably from containers of Chinese pottery imported into Lot-et-Garonne via the port of Le Havre.

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  • In fact, the Asian hornet is not more dangerous than a wasp! Its sting is even less painful than the one of a bee that will leave its sting and part of its abdomen. The hornet just stings and then withdraws. The victims identified each year die because of an allergic reactions. The only problem is that if you've never been stung, you don't know if you're allergic or not. And even if you are, it is sometimes difficult to avoid the bite.

    The Dangers of Asian Hornet

    Nevertheless, the main victim of the Asian hornet is the bee! The Asian hornet represents a real danger for French bees. Why? Because it is used to feeding its larvae with insects, especially bees!

    The Dangers of Asian Hornet

    It is therefore a terrible bee-killing insect, which does not hesitate to attack the bees' hives in order to destroy them. And this species is very effective in destroying bees because it is estimated that only 10 Asian hornets are needed to destroy a whole hive of bees.

    The Dangers of Asian Hornet

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  •    The asian hornet measures around 25mm for the worker and up to 35mm for the queen.
    A worker's life is from 30 to 55 days in comparison to 1 year for the queen.


    The specificities of the asian hornet

       It has a black brown thorax and the 4th segment is a yellowy-orange colour.
    The difference between the male and female asian hornets are the two little yellow circles at the extremity of the belly and a male has 11 rings on the antenna whereas the female has 10.

       You can find around two hundred queens in a hive compared to only one for the bees.
    Last winter in France no queen died whereas as usual around 85% die every winter.

       At the beginning of the spring the queen searches for a place to create a nest. The nest can be anywhere. It's often light grey and the size of a tennis ball.

    The specificities of the asian hornet

       The queen makes a new nest every year because it degrades itself with time.

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    The Asian hornet is really widespread.

    Thus, to eliminate it, it is necessary to use different methods that are more or less efficient.

    The asian hornet


    The w ays to fight :

    • The frogs : They can eat the Asian Hornet and when they eat it, the frogs are immunized against the Asian Hornet stings, so when they eat them, they survive.

    • The bottle : to fight against Asian Hornet, people can make a trap. This trap is a bottle made of plastic. You make some 5mm holes and then, you fill the bottle with a glass of beer, one of white wine (to repel bees) and a little bit of syrup (raspberry or blackberry).How to kill the asian hornet ?

    • Destroy the nest : we can destroy Asian Hornet nests by using a telescopic pole. The destruction must be done between July and November because they migrate after this period. This is the most efficient method.

    How to kill the asian hornet ?


    But scientists also have doubts about the frenzy of traps. An irrational fight against an invasive species could lead to favor its installation !!


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