Currently viewing the category: "Hornets and Yellow Jackets"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Can’t identify this insect
Location: Derbyshire5
June 3, 2014 8:51 am
Spotted the other day on a seat at creswell crags I n Derbyshire. Just curious to find out what it is if you can help
Signature: John

European Hornet

European Hornet

Hi John,
This is a European Hornet,
Vespa crabro, and we believe this is a queen gathering wood pulp for her nest.  Soon, when her first generation of workers are able to leave the nest, she will remain in the nest and produce more eggs.  We found a fascinating website called Hornets: Gentle Giants that you might enjoy reading.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: This is the Stuff of Nightmares
Location: Boquete, Panama
June 1, 2014 8:12 am
Hi Bugman!
I live in Boquete, Panama and found this nest in the tree outside my house. I know that insects are fun and interesting, but the sight of this nest gives me the creeps. Can you tell me what kind of creature builds such a nest and feels that they can hang out by my porch like they own the place?
Signature: ~Cate

Hornet Nest

Hornet Nest

Hi Cate,
This appears to be a Hornet Nest, but we cannot make out individual insects well enough in your image to provide an exact identification.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasp or Hornet and nest???
Location: western Pennsylvania
May 28, 2014 9:31 am
My son and I watched a wasp or hornet create its intricate nest but are not sure which insect it is, so am seeking your wonderful help as I did so a few years ago with another insect. Thank you for any help you can give us.
Signature: Marge

Queen Bald Faced Hornet begins nest.

Queen Bald Faced Hornet begins nest.

Dear Marge,
My that queen BaldFaced Hornet is building that nest fast.  She will soon have a first generation of sterile female workers who begin hunting for food and enlarging the nest, freeing her to just lay eggs.  Are you able to avoid this part of the house until the first frost?  If not, you should consider more drastic measures and evict her so she finds a more secluded location for her nest because, according to the Penn State University Entomology website:  “In Pennsylvania, a large colony will have upwards of 300 individuals.”  BaldFaced Hornets are capable of stinging repeatedly and they will defend the nest.
  We will be flying into Pittsburgh in the middle of June.

Beginnings of a Bald Faced Hornet Nest

Beginnings of a Bald Faced Hornet Nest

Thank you Daniel,
You are right, she did build it fast.  I took photos and we watched almost every other hour.  (Few photos attached.)
We “evicted” her–sort of hated to do it, but that spot is on our back “stoop” and between my son cutting our grass and me working on 4 different gardens (I plant for birds, butterflies, etc.) we felt she needed to build her large but intricate nest/home somewhere else and wanted to evict her before she laid many or any eggs and started the process.  I don’t like to kill anything including bugs and their homes, so felt it better to encourage her to build elsewhere before she had a real home/palace : )
Thanks for your help, I did see that my oldest son had a fairly large nest in his backyard last year but it was not near where they were active themselves and we think it was “done” (at the beginning of fall).
Have a safe and joyful flight.
Marge from westernPA

Beginnings of a BaldFaced Hornet Nest

Beginnings of a BaldFaced Hornet Nest

Hi Marge,
We believe the eviction was a smart move due to the heavy foot traffic at the site.  Because of your thoughtfulness, we are tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

Bald Faced Hornet builds Nest

Bald Faced Hornet builds Nest

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: European Hornet, I think
Location: Bucks County, PA (In my car!)
May 13, 2014 7:34 pm
Hi there bug man!
Today I found this huge bug in my car. It couldn’t make it’s way out and people in the parking lot were gathered round with various solutions. Unfortunatly, it finally balled up and died. It looks like it was nesting in the door of my car. I’ve sent pictures and video. Sorry for the comentary but it freaked me out. Never saw one before! Could you tell me if I have identified this bug correctly? Thanks so much!
Signature: Judy “freaked-out” Sawyer

European Hornet

European Hornet

Dear Judy,
We agree that this is a European Hornet,
Vespa crabro, but we do not believe it was attempting to nest in your car.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Hornet nest
Location: Anniston, AL
May 13, 2014 11:07 am
Found one just getting started under my eaves.
Signature: Rick

Hornet Nest

Hornet Nest

Hi Rick,
Thank you for sending this image of what is most likely a queen Bald Faced Hornet beginning to construct her nest.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: some sort of hornet?
Location: Missouri, United States
May 10, 2014 8:16 pm
lately I’ve been flipping over old rotten wood pieces and finding a hornet like this nestled into the wood. I don’t see these flying around or anything and they don’t look like any hornet I’ve googled, so I was hoping you could help out!
Signature: Stolz

Southern Yellowjacket Queen

Southern Yellowjacket Queen

Dear Stolz,
This is a Southern Yellowjacket,
Vespula squamosa, and we believe it is a queen whose winter hibernation you have interrupted. According to BugGuide:  “Queens are facultative temporary social parasites, and frequently usurp established young nests of other yellowjacket species, usually V. maculifrons. There are also records of this species utilizing V. vidua and V. flavopilosa as hosts. The queens are extremely large and robust for a yellowjacket, a trait which surely helps them to overpower and kill the host queens of the colonies they usurp. A study in Georgia found that about 80% of V. squamosa colonies began by usurpation of a V. maculifrons colony. Facultative temporary social parasitism means that the species may parasitize other species, but is still capable of founding its own colonies, and it retains a worker caste. After killing the host queen, the squamosa adopts the nest and host workers, who raise her offspring. The colony eventually becomes pure squamosa as the original host workers die off.”  BugGuide also states:  “This species emerges in spring later than its frequent host, Vespula maculifrons, so that there are numerous young colonies available for usurpation.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination