The UK government has issued an alert for citizens to report sightings of the invasive non-native Asian hornet (Vespa velutina) after recent confirmed sightings in September 2018 in the town of Fowey, in Cornwall, England.
The hornet is not dangerous to humans. However, it is a predator of honey bees and poses a huge threat to native bee colonies.
Native to southeast Asia, it arrived on the European continent in France in 2004.
In 2016, it was first sighted in England, where a single nest was found and eradicated, followed by further sightings in 2017 and early 2018 in the southern parts of England.
Kelly Wong is the social media manager at The Royal Institution of Australia. She has a Bachelor of Biomedical Science, Allergy and Immunology, Hons Class I.
Read science facts, not fiction...
There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.