The Asian hornet is smaller than our native hornet and poses no greater risk to human health than a bee. However, they do pose a risk to honey bees because they will kill them when they need protein to feed their own larvae.
Asian hornets were found in the Tetbury area of Gloucestershire in September 2016. The National Bee Unit found and destroyed a nest, which they believe was the only one in the area.
Since Asian hornets are now established in France, even if there are no queens left in the Tetbury area there will inevitably be another arrival in the UK at some point.
Beekeepers should check for the presence of Asian hornets by putting out traps. On warm spring days, mated queen hornets may emerge from hibernation as early as February, and worker hornets will be on the wing throughout the beekeeping season, right up until November, so hanging out traps between these two dates is a useful monitoring tool. Sugary liquid bait should be used in the spring, and a fish-based bait is recommended in the late summer when hornets are looking for protein to feed their young.
Simple wasp traps will also catch European and Asian Hornets if the trap entrance is at least 12mm diameter.
The National Bee Unit web site has full information about Asian Hornets and how to deal with them, information on suitable traps, and links to articles and videos covering the experience with Asian Hornets in France. Please read their January 2017 update here: NBU Asian Hornet update and request for heightened vigilance