Multiple reports of exotic, giant Asian hornet in the Netherlands this year
There have been at least nine sightings this year of the yellow-legged hornet, a giant wasp indigenous to Southeast Asia, according to waarneming.nl. One of the sightings was near an apartment in Eindhoven last week where passers-by said around 20 of the exotic wasps could be seen.
“An extraordinary situation”, a spokesperson of Foundation Stop Invasieve Exoten said to Omroep Brabant.
The first time the yellow-legged hornet was sighted in the Netherlands was in September 2017 in Zeeland.
The hornet, otherwise known as the Asian hornet, is considered an invasive species in Europe because it often preys upon honeybees. While honeybees in Southeast Asia have evolved tactics to avoid the hornet’s clutches, western honeybees have not yet adapted the same skills in avoiding the predator.
The species was placed on a list of 66 other plants and animals that have been labeled ‘invasive’ in the EU.
For humans, the yellow-legged hornet is not more dangerous than any other wasp, although a spokesperson from the Dutch food inspectorate stated that “a sting from an Asian hornet can be more painful than the sting of a regular wasp”.
The chance to get bitten by an Asian hornet is in fact lower because the yellow-legged hornet is less susceptible to sweets and food than their European counterparts.