By Damien Gayle

Vespa velutina, which preys on honey bees, is already spreading rapidly across mainland Europe and could pose a serious risk to the UK’s apiculture

Beekeepers have been told to be alert for invading hornets that have killed six people in France and could pose to serious risk to Britain’s honey bees.

The Asian hornet, which preys on honey bees, is spreading rapidly across France and other parts of mainland Europe, and there are fears its arrival in Britain is only a matter of time – particularly in light of the unusually warm spring weather.