Currently viewing the category: "Hornets and Yellow Jackets"
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First encounter with Bald Faces
Found your site looking for info on what folks commonly call
“hornets”. I found this nest accidently and almost reached into it. It is about 3ft from ground level and in a holly tree. I find them very placid, and don’t seem to be aggressive at all like the ground yellow jackets, I would not have gotten away being that close with that species! They are very busy in the morning though but dart around me like I am not there. Thought you would like this photo. I am going to try to keep them around to Winter freeze, if my Wife and/or Father-in-law don’t kill them first.
Scott

Hi Scott,
It is wonderful to hear about your tolerance. We love your photo of the paper nest of the Bald Faced Hornet.

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VERY LARGE ROBBER FLY
I’VE ALWAYS CALLED THEM PREDATOR FLY..BUT IT SEEMS IT’S A ROBBER FLY. THIS VERY LARGE ONE WAS ON MY DECK RAIL. IT’S LENGTH IS AT LEAST 2″, THE LARGEST I’VE EVER SEEN. THAT YELLOW JACKET IS ABOUT 5/8″ LONG TO GIVE A COMPARISON. JUST WANTED TO SHARE.
RON.

Hi Ron,
Your Giant Robber Fly is sure impressive, and justifiably earns the name Predator Fly. We believe this is Promachus hinei.

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What are these 2 bugs?
BugMan,
Can you please tell the full name of the green & black bugs? Thanks
Leon

Hi Leon,
In the most general sense, this is a Hornet capturing a Caterpillar. Since you did not provide global coordinates, identification to the species level is not assured. The Hornet might be Vespa crabro, the European Hornet which was introduced to the eastern U.S. and is common locally in some areas, including Pennsylvania. The caterpillar is quite generic, possibly in the Pieridae. Adult Hornets are generally nectar feeders, but they are social creatures and will capture Caterpillars and other insects. They will then chew them and regurgitate them for the larval hornets in the nest. Eric Eaton corrected us by writing in: “The hornet is indeed a Vespa species, just not V. crabro.”

Hi, Thank you at first. And the pic was took in Guangzhou, China. Guangzhou is near the Hongkong. May be it is a suprise to you, 🙂 I got knowing your website from the Click(Webscrape) progam of BBC world.
Leon

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Damn Big Bug
Hi Bugman!
Maybe you can identify these very big bugs. They are on all of our Lylac bushes (old type Lylacs, maybe seventy-five to a hundred years old). The wasp like insects are about 1 1/2″ long and when leaving the area where they feed, they all go towards the same spot along a Ridge (Flint Ridge) up behind the house. They seem to be pealing off the bark, at some points, all the way around the branches. They may be killing the bushes, as the leaves on those branches are drying up. Two Questions, what are they, and where ever the nest is located would the area be dangous to be in? They are very tolarent in the area where they are feeding. Thanks for the info.
Jeff & Helen West
Winchester, Virginia

Hi Jeff and Helen,
Thank you for the lucid and detail oriented letter. These are Giant Hornets, Vespa crabro germana, a species introduced to America in the mid nineteenth century. The adults feed on insects and nectar. They are taking the bark from your lilac bushes to chew and produce paper for nest contsruction. The paper nest is found in a hollow tree, under flooring, or in a small sheltered building. They are not aggressive, but will defend their nest by stinging if they sense dangerous intruders.

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What kind of bee is this??
My husband was mowing the grass the other day and several of these bees came out of a tree and stung him. I can’t figure out what kind of bee this might be? Its very red almost and exceptionally large. Their bodies are longer than a quarter. For now, we are calling them “School Bus Bees” because of their size. We wonder if we should not do something about them because their nest seems to be getting much larger. Help! Thanks,
Heather Tierney

Hi Heather,
The Giant Hornet or European Hornet, Vespa crabro, was introduced to the eastern part of North America from Europe. Like all social wasps, they will defend their nest. They must have felt threatened by the lawn mower.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

hanging thief
Bugman
I think you had a picture of one of these in your fly section not hanging. I wasn’t sure from the picture but when you called it a hanging thief I knew right away. Here’s one hanging and eating.
Bill

Hi Bill,
Wow!!! What an awesome photo. That Hanging Thief seems to be enjoying the Yellow Jacket it captured. Thanks for sending such an iconic image our way.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination