Bald Faced Hornet

Subject: Hornet ID …
Location: Monetville, Ontario, Canada, which is south of Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.
August 11, 2016 10:56 am
We saw these “hornets” August 11, 2016 in the area of Monetville, Ontario, Canada, which is south of Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.
They were operating like dive bombers attacking and carrying away flies.
Accurate attacking the flies but did not appear to be bothering people.
Signature: Paul Kehoe

Bald Faced Hornet
Bald Faced Hornet

Dear Paul,
This is a Bald Faced Hornet, a species of social wasp.  Most adult wasps feed on nectar and other sugary substances, like ripe fruit or sap.  We suspect the Flies they were catching are being taken back to the nest to feed the larvae.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults are common on flowers and take nectar. Adults feed pre-chewed insects to larvae. Also are carnivorous and eat fruit.”

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Brenda Russell Armstrong
August 12 at 2:30pm
One of my favourites. Many years ago living in northern BC by the Stikine River we were cutting fish for drying and the black flies, horse flies, etc. were bad. Then the BF Hornets arrived and began capturing and processing the flies for their winter larder. There were catchers, and others that trimmed the various (inedible?) bits and others that wrapped the carcass into a leaf from a nearby wild apple tree and then turned the bundle over to other hornets that flew them off to the nest for storage. Not making this up. Would find it hard to believe if I hadn’t seen it myself. Any one else see something similar?

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