Deadly Asian Hornet 'seen in Scotland', yet not is all as it seems

Defra believes otherwise as not one official sighting of the Asian Hornet has been verified in the UK (picture: Danel Solabarrieta)

A species of aggressive hornet not native to the UK has reportedly been spotted in Scotland – or has it?

Workmen in Fife were shocked to discover what they say was an insect “two to three inches long” with a sting “the length of a needle.”

Asian hornets (Vespa velutina) are predators originally from China, which were introduced to the south of France within a delivery of pottery in late 2004.

The species has killed six people in France since its arrival, having caused an anaphylactic shock in its victims - its sting is slightly fouler solely due to its size, which is larger than a normal bee.

However, it is a much larger threat to the honey bee – causing significant losses to colonies.

It can grow up to 3cm and has a black/dark brown thorax.

Considering that Andrew Allan, 30, from East Kilbride, said he saw a hornet considerably larger than the one feared to be making its way towards the Channel, it’s more likely he saw its larger European equivalent - the “hornet” (Vespa crabro) or a Horntail.

He told the Daily Record: “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.”

A spokeswoman for The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) told The Independent: “It’s very unlikely that [the Asian Hornet] would be in Scotland.

“We’d had quite a lot of reports from the public of Asian Hornets but not a single case. We’ve not had an Asian Hornet in the UK yet.”

She added that alerting beekeepers to the possible arrival of Asian Hornets had led a flurry of worried homeowners getting concerned that they, too, had spotted one.

In addition, a deadlier species - the extremely venomous Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia) – has not set foot in Europe at all, she confirmed.

Since arriving in France the Asian Hornet has been “rapidly extending its range,” the British Non-Native Special Secretariat (NNSS) says.

It is considered merely a matter of time before the species arrives in the UK, with a high possibility of introduction through cut flowers, fruit or on un-treated timber. The NNSS also said that it there is a chance it could simply fly across the Channel.

Because the invasive insect can cause widespread damage to bee colonies, bee-keeping organisations and governmental departments are still urging members of the public to report sightings of the virulent species.

“Do not under any circumstances disturb or provoke an active hornets’ nest,” the British Beekeepers Association, says.

An April report by the Environmental Audit Committee says: “Niall Moore [from the NNSS]… told us that the Non-native Species Secretariat was helping the Environment Agency and Natural England to develop Rapid Response Plans for species, as well as contingency plans for the arrival of the Asian Hornet.”


Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
videoWatch Lynda Bellingham's tragic final Loose Women appearance
Arts and Entertainment
The last great picture - Winner 'Black and White' and overall 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage

Arts and Entertainment
High notes, flat performance: Jake Bugg

Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat

The Putin automaton will go on sale next month in Germany
videoMusical Putin toy showing him annexing Crimea could sell for millions

Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down

Arts and Entertainment
S Club 7 pose for Children in Need 2001
Arts and Entertainment
'Right Here' singer Jess Glynne is nominated for Best Newcomer at the MOBO Awards 2014
musicExclusive: Jess Glynne hits out at 'ridiculous' criticism of white artists nominated for Mobo Awards
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella

Arts and Entertainment
Russell Brand has written a book of political analysis called Revolution

Review: Witty banalities aside, the comedian has an authentic voice

Arts and Entertainment
Separated at birth? Frank Sivero (left) claims The Simpsons based Mafia character Louie on his Goodfellas character
arts + entsFrank Sivero sues Simpsons studio over allegedly basing mobster character on Frank Carbone
Carl Bernstein (left) and Bob Woodward (right) with former 'Washington Post' executive editor Ben Bradlee

The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Science Teacher

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Science teacher requi...

Deputy Head of Science

£36000 - £60000 per annum: Randstad Education Southampton: Our client are a we...

IT Teacher

£22000 - £32000 per annum + TLR: Randstad Education Southampton: Our client is...

Database Administrator

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: The role could involve w...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London