Bald-Faced Hornet – Early stages of nest development + larva
First of all…love the site. I used it to figure out what I had after I captured it. Turns out, I probably should have been a bit more cautious. Anyway, a pair (it appears it was a new nest) of bald-faced hornets were building a nest in my Azalea bush. I spent the morning trying to capture a few good shots. Since I couldn’t allow them to build the nest, I had to destroy them. I did take the opportunity to dissect the nest after I knew the adult was dead (the other one is still out there). I found larva in various stages of development and still very alive. I snapped several photos and thought they might be useful on your site.
Best Regards,
The Jobe Family

Dear Jobe Family,
While we understand that if you have young children playing in your yard, you might not want to risk them accidentally disturbing a Hornet’s Nest and getting stung, the Bald Faced Hornet is not an aggressive species unless its nest is threatened. Please understand that we understand you probably have extenuating circumstances necessitating the nest removal, but we still need to file your letter under Unnecessary Carnage. Though the demise of the Queen Bald Faced Hornet and her brood saddens us, we are very happy to have the excellent documentation you have provided. “Madder than a Hornet’s Nest” has become a metaphorical term for a good reason, but having a nest of Hornets in a garden is an excellent way to organically control grasshoppers, caterpillars and other insects that are feeding on your plants.

Update: (06/29/2008)
That’s unfortunate that it’s going to be categorized that way. It was in a bad spot (by our front door in the Azalea bush) so I really didn’t want to risk it growing large with my 3 children around. I do go to extremes to try an organically control the bug population for our garden and home. I do this by introducing praying mantis egg cases around our home to provide natural remedies. Anyway, still love the site. Best Regards,
Scott Jobe

Hi Again Scott,
We fully understand the extenuating circumstances of your situation (front door, three children) and this nest removal was justifiable, but we would be remiss if we did not mention to our readership that they do not need to remove a Hornet’s Nest from the backyard. Knowing where a nest has been placed and respecting the inhabitants results in peaceful coexistance. Disturbing the nest results in painful stings.

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10 Responses to Bald Faced Hornet: Queen and nest eliminated

  1. kshart says:

    Very helpful website, and comments. I have an active, basketball-sized nest of Bald-faced Hornets in a bush right outside my front door, here in a wooded part of NJ. I have walked within 4 feet of the nest many times before and after discovering it a week ago, and they have not yet bothered me. I don’t want to kill or poison them, and wonder if there is a way to detach the nest (at night, wearing gloves & headnet, of course), and deposit the entire thing way up in the woods, away from the house. I also wonder if I do not remove, will they return to the same area each spring? I live alone, so there’s no threat to others getting stung. Any professional suggestions? Thanks.

    • bugman says:

      We believe your intentions are noble, but we would fear the nest might not survive a relocation. The Hornets might become disoriented and the nest would may fall prey to predators. Bald Faced Hornet nests do not survive the winter but new queens will hibernate after mating and begin a new nest in the spring.

  2. kshart says:

    Thanks for your reply. One more question: Several friends have told me they peacefully co-existed with wasp/hornet nests, but once the fall weather made the air temp cooler, the hornets became aggressive and they got stung repeatedly. I don’t know if my friends were dealing with bald faced hornets, but this is a concern of mine. Do bald faced hornets turn aggressive in colder weather? Do other types of wasps/hornets? Thanks. -Ken

  3. laurie vibe says:

    believe we have a bald face hornet nest in cedar tree by our patio. just noticed it this evening. alot of activity in and out of the nest. they are not bothering us so we are leaving them alone to do their thing.

  4. Ginny says:

    I think I have the beginnings of a bald faced hornet nest on the eave of my roof (on my deck). It’s not huge like the pictures I’ve seen here. It does have a cylinder type thing hanging down where I saw one going into last evening. Is it going to get bigger? I have a pool and this thing is right above it. Worries me because I have lots of people (including my grand children) at my pool each weekend. Should I have it removed?

    • bugman says:

      A Hornet Nest above an active pool seems to us like a deterrent to summer water sports.

      • Ginny says:

        Any suggestions on how to get rid of it? At this time it looks like the one posted by the Jobe family in their azalea bush. Is this the queen? Will it get bigger?

        • bugman says:

          The queen begins the nest, and her first generation of offspring soon take over the job of home improvements, expanding the nest and caring for her offspring, freeing the Queen to just lay more eggs. The nest will attain the size of a football by the end of the season. A nest is only occupied by the Hornets for a single season, after which the Queen dies and young Queens find a place to pass the winter before beginning new nests. We do not give extermination advice.

    • Mitch L. says:

      This website’s intentions are noble, perhaps, but these are terrifying-looking, menacing insects with a painful sting, and it’s understandable no one would want them on their property. Any hardware store such as Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc., can help with their extermination and removal. I had to remove them from my backyard, as I simply could not tolerate such large wasps zooming past.

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