Bald Faced Hornet

Is this aggressive insect a bee or a hornet? It is black and white and is new to my yard this year.

The Bald Faced Hornet, Vespula maculata, is an extremely aggressive social insect. They are extremely protective of the nest which is made of chewed wood pulp, hence paper, and will sting repeatedly.

Chastised by Eric Eaton regarding bald-faced hornet.
Would you please reconsider your definition of bald-faced hornets as “very aggressive?” I have come right up to a nest before, and was completely ignored by the occupants coming and going and working on the exterior envelope of the nest. Sure, jiggle the nest and you’d have a major problem on your hands (and face, and the rest of your body:-), but they are quite serene normally, and are NOT the scavengers that other kinds of yellowjackets are. In fact, they prey almost exclusively on flies, so are good to have around. One more anecdote. We once had a small nest in a camelia bush right next to the front door of the house. Never knew it was there until late fall when we pruned the tree! By then the nest was abandoned.
Have a great weekend. Eric

2 thoughts on “Bald Faced Hornet”

  1. I have spent a lot of time around these hornets and found them to be pretty much indifferent to me. I have observed great numbers of them taking nectar from flowers in my grandmothers yard with no interest whatsoever in me. This applies to all vespa i have had experience with. I think the danger levels are greatly overblown, and most violent attacks seem to be from a direct (though usually accidental) interaction with the nest.


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