© Stuart M Bennett 2003

Vespa crabro
(The Hornet)


The Hornet is Britains largest wasp, even the smallest workers are bigger than the queens of most other species, and the hornet queens are more than an inch long. Apart from their size, they are easily identified by their brown and orangy - yellow markings, as opposed to the normal black and yellow of other wasps. Hornets are quite rare in the British Isles, being mainly confined to well wooded areas of Southern England. Like common wasps, they build their nests out of paper in hollow trees, chimneys, wall cavities,banks etc. Sometimes they use the same site year after year (although a completely new colony). Because of their size hornets make a louder hum than wasps, but in spite of their reputation, they are relatively docile and will rarely sting, but if they do you will know about it...!

Below is a picture showing a hornet's nest built of paper combs, formed from chewed up wood or plant fibres


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