People are being warned to report sightings of Asian hornets as nature groups warn of a potential surge in non-native species. 

Asian hornets prey on native honey bees and can damage the ecological role they play, as well as disrupting commercial beekeeping.

In 2022 an Asian hornet was spotted and captured in Felixstowe

They are smaller than the native hornet and pose no greater risk to human health than native wasps and hornets.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said the species is not established in the UK yet but early trapping is fundamental to eradication efforts.

Defra said members of the public can report any sightings of the Asian Hornet, which have very dark bodies, a wide orange stripe on the forth abdomen section and yellow leg ends, on the Asian hornet Watch App.

It added that the National Bee Unit stands ready to respond quickly and effectively to any further possible sightings after attending every credible report last year and destroying 72 nests in 56 locations – mostly in Kent.