What does it look like?

The Asian hornet is easily confused with other species of hornet. What people need to know is that this species is smaller than the European hornet, as well as the colours are different.

The velutina has a black head, and yellow face while having an abdominal segment with a yellow border, having an orange segment as well. The species can be easily identified by the yellow paws.

There are various species of Vespa Velutina and the one that concerns the Europeans is Vespa Velutina Nigrithorax, due to the hunting of honeybees. Portuguese honey producers are worried about the invasion of Asian hornets as they attack bees’ colonies, not only affecting honey production but also affecting the pollination of the flora.

How do we eradicate them?

The species arrived in Portugal around 2011, being first noticed in Alto Minho, in North Portugal, after beekeepers noticed that the regular bee species were disappearing.

According to Público, from 2015 to 2023, there were destroyed more than 140 thousand nests of Asian hornets, being 2023 the second year with more nests eradicated, a total of 27.884 thousand nests. It is during the summer that most hornets are seen flying around, especially in countryside areas, nevertheless, it is possible to see them in urban areas, that are next to vegetation. The species has not yet been seen in the south of the country, namely in Algarve, but there are registers of sightings in Alentejo.

It is possible to find traps to catch the species to buy online, which can be done at home. Using a five-litre water bottle and two 1.5 litres water bottles. Depending on the month, the solution used to trap the hornets may change, as they have different needs throughout the year.

How to do the traps?

From February to April, authorities suggest people put on their yards a solution made with white wine, redcurrant syrup, and black beer, all in the same quantity, due to their necessity for sugary substances. From May until September, the mixture must be a little bit different, as the hornets look for protein during this time of the year. To properly trap the hornets during those months, people may mix, in 3 litres of water, 1,5 kilograms of sugar, and 60 grams of baker’s yeast.

Author: Jornal de Albergaria;

I saw one, what should I do?

In case of sighting an Asian hornet or a nest, it is important to advise the responsible authorities. The registration of sightings may be done by the local city hall or parish, but also online on the following website: https://stopvespa.icnf.pt/

People must know that, without the authorities' help, should not try to eradicate a nest. The Asian hornet, despite of not being as dangerous as the European hornet, when threatened will “call” the group and may chase the aggressor hundreds of metres. The sting of the velutina may reach blood vessels, and in the case of numerous stings, humans may have health consequences.

In case of being stung by an Asian hornet, some measures may be taken. Wash the local with water and soap. To ease the pain and swelling, ice may be used, and it is also possible to take paracetamol or ibuprofen, as mentioned by Deco Proteste.

If someone is allergic to Asian hornet poison may feel itching throughout the body, as well as some body parts may swell, such as the lips. There may also be respiratory difficulties, and also nausea, and dizziness. If any of these symptoms are felt, it is imperative to call 112 so the person may be medically assisted.


Deeply in love with music and with a guilty pleasure in criminal cases, Bruno G. Santos decided to study Journalism and Communication, hoping to combine both passions into writing. The journalist is also a passionate traveller who likes to write about other cultures and discover the various hidden gems from Portugal and the world. Press card: 8463. 

Bruno G. Santos