Lethal Asian hornet reportedly spotted in Scotland
Two workmen in Fife reported that they saw what they believe is a lethal Asian hornet. They described that the hornet was “two to three inches long” with a sting “the length of a needle.”
The species of Vespa velutina are originally from China and was introduced in South France by delivering them with pottery in 2004. It is a dangerous predator and has so far killed six people in France. Its sting causes a shock in victims and the size of the sting is much bigger than a bee sting.
While it poses a threat to humans, it also threatens the bee colonies and hence there could be a loss of lots of colonies if they invade England. The hornet grows up to 3 cms and will have a black or brown thorax. Andrew Allan from East England said that he spotted the hornet and fears that they might have made their way through the English Channel and into the country.
However, it is believed that he could have just seen a hornet from the species Vespa crabro, also known as Horntail.
“We were just working away, doing some stone repairs, when we saw this massive thing buzzing about. I could not believe my eyes. My mate didn’t want to take any chances so he hit it with a hammer”, said Allan. Experts say that European hornets entering the UK is very unlikely and they receive reports from people spotting hornets, however, those are not the deadly varieties.
She also confirmed that Vespa mandarinia, a deadlier species has never been spotted in Europe before and so there is no need to panic. However, as they have arrived in France, they might simply fly through the channel to reach the UK and hence the honey bee breeders are asked to take precaution.