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Risk of Asian Hornets Looms Over River Wandle’s Bees

Asian Hornets are an invasive species, known for their destructive impact on bee colonies. In recent years they have steadily made their way to the UK, from Europe.

They were found in London for the first time last summer, and now their numbers are rising. There have already been confirmed sightings in the UK this year, a month earlier than in previous years.

Asian Hornets are a danger to both people, and the ecosystem of the River Wandle. This article explains how to identify them, and what to do if you spot one by the river.

Asian Hornets

Asian Hornets and the River Wandle’s Ecosystem

Asian Hornets could destroy bee colonies around the River Wandle. This would then disrupt the river’s ecosystem, as it would affect all the plants and wildlife that rely on pollination for survival.

british beekeepers association

Asian hornets have the capacity to wreak havoc on our wildlife in the UK, through their destruction of honey bee colonies, and their predation on a number of other insect species. Their habit of hovering outside bee hives stops the bees from going out to collect nectar and pollen to feed themselves.

How Asian Hornets are Dangerous to People

One Asian Hornet alone could cause a painful sting, but is unlikely to cause a problem if it’s left alone. If you were to stumble across a nest however, this could be dangerous, as Asian Hornets will aggressively defend their nests.

Asian Hornet nests are usually found close to the ground, in brambles and hedgerows. If an unsuspecting individual disturbed one by accident, this could have dangerous consequences, if they were stung multiple times.

How to Identify Asian Hornets

As the weather improves, you should look out for Asian Hornets when you are walking by the Wandle. You can see from the image below that they are 2-3 times larger than a common wasp.

Identify an Asian Hornet

Asian Hornets are mostly black with a thin yellow band near the middle and a broader orange / yellow band near their tail. Their most distinguishing characteristic is their bright yellow legs.

How to Report an Asian Hornet Sighting

If you see an Asian Hornet by the River Wandle, you should report it via the Asian Hornet Watch app (ideally with a photo). This will help experts from the National Bee Unit to identify if there’s a nest nearby.


Read More About the Asian Hornet

I hope you love the books I recommend! Just so you know, some of the links below are affiliate links, so I will receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you buy through the links.

The Asian Hornet Handbook

Asian Hornet handbook

If you are interested in learning more about Asian Hornets, you can get an informative handbook, detailing the invasion of Asian Hornets in Europe. It particularly focuses on the experiences of Jersey Beekeepers, and covers identification, and tracking techniques.

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The Asian Hornet Handbook
  • Bunker, Sarah (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 164 Pages – 04/28/2019 (Publication Date) – Sarah Bunker (Publisher)

Last update on 2024-05-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API