Hornets and the Law
Do European Hornets Have Legal Protection?
None of the UK’s paper wasp species has any legal protection from professional control.
In other European countries like Germany, the Hornet enjoys a level of protection, but this is not the case in the UK. The British Isles have not been seen as a place where Hornets’ are in need of legitimate protection. We hope in the coming years, Hornets will get some level of protection.
The reason some have not pushed for protection is the defence of our Honey Bees. Honey bees have had fluctuating populations and Hornets are significant aerial predators.
Balance must be kept though, and nature balances its own books, no matter what our interference. A conundrum that will surely play out long after humans have gone.
How Common Are Hornets In Bristol?
Hornets in Bristol had been in decline, but the last ten years have seen Hornet numbers rising steadily, especially around the western side of the City of Bristol, through Failand and the Gordano Valley.
Now we are seeing signs that the Chew Valley is also enjoying a rise in Hornet populations.
Is The Asian Hornet In Bristol?
The Asian Hornet is 20% smaller than the European Hornet and was spotted in 2016, just south, and another nest just north of Bristol. We don’t think was an isolated incident, and are expecting to see more in 2019.
Asian Hornets are almost certainly present in Bristol, but identification is often vague unless carried out by professionals like ourselves.
Are Hornets Dangerous?
Hornets belong to a group of flying predators described as social or paper wasps. They live in large colonies that can number 1000 or more.
Disturbing a large European Hornet’s nest is a very dangerous thing to do. The only saving grace in this scenario is that
Hornets rely on their size to disable prey and not just their impressive sting.
people have reported that the reaction to Hornet stings is less serious than those of smaller social wasps. Sadly, this is not accurate when describing the pain experienced.
Hornets have a very long sting because they inject venom much deeper into the skin. Hornet venom also provides greater excitement of pain receptors than the venom of smaller wasps.
For this reason, it’s safe to assume you will not suffer a serious reaction to its sting as readily as you could with the sting of small er wasps. But my goodness, you know you’ve been stung!