When Glory Lennon came to visit Wooly Acres last month, she pointed out a hornet’s nest on the side of our house that we had not noticed.
Though I hadn’t seen the hive earlier, I sure had seen the hornets. They look like over-sized yellow jackets. I found one floating in a rain barrel that was almost 3″ long. It looked like one of those pre-historic bugs that are impossibly large. The ones we saw flying in and out out of this nest aren’t that large, between 1″ and 2″.
After doing some research, I think they are European Hornets. They aren’t generally aggressive except when messed with and the sting hurts for days. They prey on other insects and do kill praying mantises and honey bee hives.
We sprayed the nest as I am more fond of honey bees than pre-historic sized wasps that camp on my house.
Here is a picture for size comparison. I found these two dead in our house. I don’t know if the smaller one is a yellow jacket or a smaller European hornet because the markings are nearly identical, but the smaller one is the size of a yellow jacket so you can see the other one is a notch bigger.
According to Wikipedia this hornet is a protected species in Germany where it is illegal to kill them or eradicate their nests.
I have put off posting this post for about 6 weeks now, because I wanted a picture of the cross-section of the hive. But the Man-whose-job-it-is-to-kill-bugs isn’t cooperating. So there it still hangs on the side of the house, still with hornets flying in and out. They are apparently impervious to Raid.
While waiting to post this though, I got to see a picture of a much more horrifying nest from the same European Hornets. PennApic on facebook posted this from a job they did to go clean out a nest from someone’s attic. Notice the same swirly design in the construction of it. This thing is massive:
Now sleep well tonight…don’t think about this at all! 😉