L.Freer's picture

Hornet

Lovely hot afternoon, balcony doors open and at 3pm in flew what I thought was the biggest wasp I'd ever seen!
After a thorough search on the internet I've come to realise it was a European Hornet...still scared the pants off of me..
Took a quick video of it and got a wee bit closer than either of us liked and it reared up at me,so I let it be for a few minutes,then ushered it back outside..
Does anyone think it was looking for somewhere to nest and is it possible i'll now see more of them?

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Martin Harvey's picture

Hornets

Hornets have become more widespread and frequent in recent years, so there's certainly a chance you'll see more of them. Their 'natural' nest sites are usually in hollow trees, but they will sometimes use spaces in buildings - one started trying to build a nest in my garage last year.

Like other social wasps, only the queens survive the winter, and in spring they look for a place to build their nest. I've heard of nests already in progress this year, so she may already be nesting somewhere nearby.

Hornets are not aggressive, but like many animals they will defend their nest if they feel threatened, and I'm told their sting is a memorable one, so worth treating with respect!

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Entomologist and biological recorder