This huge hornet was spotted by Nature Table Explorer Rowan on a line of seaweed on a beach in Brittany. It is an Asian Hornet ( Vespa volutina)
The seaweed obviously attracted it as it spent its whole time patrolling the drifts .
This photo shows its distinctive yellow legs.
The Asian Hornet arrived in France in 2004 through imported pot plants. It has been sighted in the UK and is listed as an invasive species and is a danger to bees as they are predators of other insects.
The DEFRA website has information about these insects.
The Great British Non-native Species Website, affiliated with Defra, has issued a ‘species alert’.
It said: “Vespa velutina, also known as the Asian hornet is an invasive non-native species from Asia. It arrived in France in 2004 where it spread rapidly. As a highly effective predator of insects, including honey bees and other beneficial species, it can cause significant losses to bee colonies, and potentially other native species.
If you see one of these in the UK it is reportable so that the spread can be monitored and hopefully halted.