Subject: What kind of nest is this?
Geographic location of the bug: Near roof under eaves
Time: 08:10 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: We found this nest under the roof of our house in northern Illinois
How you want your letter signed: Zena
This looks like the nest of a Bald Faced Hornet in its early stages of construction. When complete, it will be about the size of a football. According to Bee Friendly: “Bald Faced Hornets become active each year in the early spring (March-April) when the fertile Queen comes out of her underground winter den and begins to forage on flies and other insects, including smaller wasps and bees, while she scouts for a nesting site for the coming year. The new colony will typically build up its population, through the Spring and Summer months (May-Sept), to an average number of 700 members. During the cooler weather of the Autumn (late Oct.) the colony will produce short lived male wasps and fertile females that will then mate and seek out hibernation dens for the winter.The entire colony will eventually die off in mid to late November when the prey insects have all disappeared.” Hornets will not reuse an old nest. Hornets are social wasps and they will defend the nest. Hopefully the nest is high enough in the eaves that human movements will not alarm the inhabitants. They will sting to protect the nest.