The Asian hornet, an exotic wasp from China, first appeared in Belgium in 2011. The species builds large nests, where honey bees, wild bees and insects form the food for the larvae. Because of its impact on biodiversity, the Asian hornet is included on the European list of invasive alien species of concern.
Through the citizen science platform Vespa-Watch, citizens can report potential sightings (individuals or nests) of the Asian hornet. The collected data will be validated by a community of volunteers in iNaturalist, a global platform for nature observations, after which it will be used to monitor the invasion of the Asian hornet and map its management in Flanders. Validated observations (whether of Asian hornet or any other species) are published weekly as open data on GBIF, a global aggregator for biodiversity data.
Vespa-Watch was developed by INBO in cooperation with Ghent University.