Closely related to bees and wasps, hornets are larger and can inflict painful stings if disturbed or threatened. Generally docile animals, h...
Latin Name: Vespa crabro
Months of Activity: May - November
The hornet is a rare visitor to the UK, and when it does appear, is largely confined to the south.
The majority of people consider hornets highly dangerous and their presence often causes fear and panic, however they will only attack if disturbed.
Hornets are closely related to ants and bees, and like most nest building insects, will defend their colony when they consider it threatened. If you encounter a hornet, it is key to avoid rapid movements, blocking the flight path, and vibrating or breathing on the nests.
Hornet queens generally emerge from hibernation in May and will set about finding a suitable nesting site and laying the first batch of eggs. The first worker hornets will emerge from the nest following a period of twelve to fourteen days of being in their larval stage.
In the time between mid August and mid September, the hornet colony achieves its developmental peak, amounting to 400-700 animals and a 60cm high nest. The queen now lays eggs, which become males and young queens.
The appearance of the first sexually active queens and males indicates the decline of the colony. Once they have left the nest, they will collect on nearby trees and mate, after which the males will die. The young queens now hunt for a suitable hibernation place for the process to begin again next year.
Hornet pest control is a specialist field and should only be undertaken by trained professionals. If you find a hornets nest, you should keep well away as they can become very aggressive if threatened. If you suspect that you have hornets living in your home or garden, then do not hesitate to contact your local pest control company who will be able to remove the nest.
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