Picture credit: Didier Descouens

How to identify hornets:
  • Are they very big with a loud buzz?
  • Are they black and brown with a hint of orange?
  • Living in the roof or shed?
  • Do they have a very big curved tail?

What should you do?

Beekeepers cannot help you with hornets.

Please click on the link to contact your local council’s pest control services:

More information:

A little known fact about hornets as they are actually not as aggressive as one might think. Like most nest building insects, hornets will usually only attack to defend their colony when they feel it is being threatened. This is mainly only when someone or something comes within close proximity of the nest (the radius of this is usually 2-3m). Outside of their nest area hornets have been known to be quite passive creatures. It has been noted by some researchers that hornets are shy, peaceful creatures. They tend to avoid conflict and only attack when they absolutely have to.

Hornets are one of mother nature’s pest controllers. With a craving for insects such as aphids, hornets help rid the world of unwanted garden pests which damage resources within an agricultural setting. Hornets are known to have a rich diet of sugar and protein among other things:
• Sugar – Like other types of wasps, hornets have a real sweet tooth and crave sugary things such as fruit and fizzy drinks.
• Sap – Hornets love tree sap! You can often find them using their mandibles to pull back the bark from trees to get to the sticky golden substance.
• Protein – Just like other insects within the Vespidae family, their young live off protein which the workers forage for in the form of insects and other animals. In return, the larvae releases a sweet syrup which the adults lap up.
• Bees – Bees are one of a hornet’s favourite things. Not only are they a great source of protein for their future queens, but they provide a sweet, golden, sugar goodness which hornet’s love – honey!

Warning! Asian Hornet If you see this type of hornet, please click on the link below and report it - it is an invasive species that threatens UK species.

1. Does it look very black?
2. Has it got a wide orange stripe on 4th segment of abdomen?
3. Do its legs look as if they have been dipped in yellow paint?

Report any sightings here: