Asian hornets are generally not aggressive and only sting when they feel threatened. However, this invasive species of hornet, with its insatiable hunger for bees, could well endanger the ecological balance.

The Vespa Velutina, better known as the Asian hornet, is a species of insect that has been spreading rapidly in Germany since 2014. Originally native to East Asia, it has spread across Europe since 2004, particularly in countries such as France, Spain and Germany.

This species of hornet is characterized by its striking black and yellow coloring and its impressive size. It can grow up to three centimeters long and has a powerful stinger that can cause painful stings to humans. It feeds mainly on insects, especially bees and wasps, but also beetles and flies.

In Germany it specializes primarily in hunting honey bees. The Asian hornet is known for building large nests, often found in trees, bushes, or man-made structures such as attics. A single nest can house thousands of hornets, making their presence a potential danger to people in the area.

When it comes to the impressive Asian hornet, the question is often how to assess its potential danger to humans or to nature. However, this assessment is not always easy.

First of all, hornets are generally not aggressive and do not usually attack people without provocative actions. However, their stings can be painful and cause serious allergic reactions in some people. An allergic reaction to a hornet sting can lead to difficulty breathing, swelling and even life-threatening conditions. However, it should be noted that, according to the Federal Statistical Office, no one in Germany has died from a hornet sting in the last 50 years. For comparison: around 20 people die every year as a result of a bee sting.

Another aspect of the danger posed by Asian hornets is their ability to kill large quantities of prey, especially bees, in a short period of time. For Asian hornets, bees make up about 37 to 85 percent of your protein intake, whereas for native hornets it’s only about five percent.

Since bees are crucial for pollinating plants and therefore food production, a strong presence of Asian hornets in an area can have negative ecological effects.