Asian Hornets — Our position, The RSPB

Asian hornets

The Asian hornet poses a significant threat to the UK’s wildlife and the RSPB urges the public to report any sightings to the relevant authorities.

Asian hornets in Europe

Asian hornets were inadvertently brought to France in 2004, most likely in a shipment of goods imported from east Asia. Since arriving in France, the species has spread rapidly. It is now present across France and is moving into adjoining countries.

The threat

The Asian hornet is a non-native species in the UK, as it hails from east Asia and could not arrive in the UK naturally.

The concern around the Asian hornet is that it is a significant predator of bees. In France, it has consumed large numbers of bees, including the well-known European honey bee and many lesser-known solitary and colonial bee species. Nature conservation organisations, including the RSPB, are concerned about the impacts of Asian hornets on bees, as these pollinating species are an essential component of well-functioning ecosystems.

The Asian hornet is undoubtedly an invasive non-native species in France, and the evidence indicates it would be invasive in the UK too. It has been recorded in the UK on at least three occasions (as of January 2018). However, the relevant authorities swiftly eradicated these individuals.

Learn more about the Asian hornet

Learn more about how to identify an Asian hornet, and how to report a sighting, by visiting our blog.

Asian Giant Hornet

The Asian giant hornet is the world’s largest hornet, like the subspecies Japanese big hornet colloquially often called yak-killer hornet, Inhabitant to moderate and humid Eastern Asia. Your Asian giant hornet varies from Siberia down over the Chinese coast directly into Indochina and day-to-day lives as distant west since India, though the hornet is mainly ordinary in the rustic portions of Japan anywhere it is referred to as the giant sparrow bee, its tingle is as extra-large as the huge bug is, inside the hornet’s poison is an mastoparan, enzyme, which is able of melting human being tissue.

Appearance :

Asian giant hornet body span is about 5 cm long and 7.6 cm of wingspan. Giant hornets contain dull broad heads which seem diverse from individuals of former hornets, wasps and bees; the colour of the Asian giant hornet is sallow carroty and chocolate. These huge hornets employ their dimension to intimidate erstwhile bugs, mainly European Honeybees and this Wasp type is bigger than several others with regular Asian giant hornets.

The queens can simply produce to 5. 5cm although are similar in nature to this worker Hornets with black mandibles orange head, plus a black along with golden physique. They have 2 sets of eyes, one complex and another one celli, both the eyes are of brown colour beside through their legs. Dissimilar erstwhile type of Wasp, and certainly Bees, the tingles of these Hornets is not pointed and consequently relics emotionally involved to its stiff once worn.

Diet :

The Asian Giant Hornet is a leading killer inside its surroundings, mostly chasing former bugs, mainly Bees. These are also usually recognized to slay big bugs like pleading Mantises and still erstwhile Hornets and Wasps. Adults of these families are not capable to absorb concrete proteins and in its place simply consume the liquid as of their sufferers. They are too recognized to nourish their grasp to their young insect in the type of repeated glue. The larva after that hides an obvious fluid which the mature eat, and are consideration to provide them a small piece of an power increase. Asian Giant Hornets mainly employ their mandibles quite than their influential sting in direct to safe their victim.

Predators :

The particular Asian Huge Hornet can be an apex predator within just its atmosphere; it does not have any real natural predators within just its local habitats. Humans pose the most significant threat on the world’s largest wasp, mainly while they are consumed during normal diets inside areas where they are found. This can be particularly common inside mountains regarding Japan the place that the Asian Huge Hornet populations are in the highest abundance. Irrespective of its dimension and poor temper, variety of the Asian Giant Hornet is usually declining in a few areas. This is especially due to habitat loss such as deforestation. Honeybees with Eastern Asia are starting to develop their very own defence all over again the Hornets, trapping them in their nest until it turns into too hot due to this giant Wasp and it dies.

Life Cycles & Lifestyle :

Once having created her nest inside the spring, the fertilised king put down a sole egg in every cellular which hatches in a seven days. Asian Giant Hornet young insect go through a 5 stage transforming procedure called as metamorphosis, to achieve to his or her adult kind. This gets about two weeks by which often point the hive has its very first generation of workers that are sure that the colony as a whole is well-maintained. Through the late summer time, the population of the colony is a its maximum with all around 700 individuals, most which are woman.

The king then begins to produce fertilised (female) and also non-fertilised (male) offspring. The men leave the hive whenever they have gotten to their person form and also usually perish once mated. The individuals and existing queens usually die out inside the autumn departing the fresh fertilised queens to survive the winter months and begin accomplishing this again the next spring.

Facts :

Once having created her nest inside the spring, the fertilised king put down a sole egg in every cellular which hatches in a seven days. Asian big Hornet young insect go through a five-stage transforming process known as metamorphosis, to achieve to his or her adult kind. This takes around two weeks by which often point the hive has its very first generation of workers that be sure that the colony as a whole is well-maintained. Through the late summer time, the population of the colony is a its maximum with all around 700 individuals, most which are woman.

The king then begins to produce fertilised (female) and also non-fertilised (male) offspring. The men leave the hive whenever they have gotten to their person form and also usually perish once mated. The individuals and existing queens usually die out inside the autumn departing the fresh fertilised queens to survive the winter months and begin accomplishing this again the next spring.

Behaviour :

Oddly enough, these amazingly large as well as dangerous pesky insects are truly eaten by folks who share the particular habitat of the Asian Giant Hornet. These are inspired by a number of being a regular supply of provisions and are mainly usually yawning fried or dish up being the Hornet sashimi. While the toxin of Asian Large Hornet is very strong, it is only in uncommon cases once the person is more somewhat insecure, that it is really the poison containing caused these phones die. With Japan on its own, 40 people are killed annually by stings by Asian Large Hornets but fatalities usually are mainly brought on by allergic reactions, often by multiple stings.

Images, Pics, Photos and Pictures of Asian Giant Hornet :

Habitat :

The actual Asian big Hornet is originated all through Western side in Korea, China, Taiwan, Indochina, Asia, Nepal plus Sri Lanka, nevertheless they are mainly often found inside the mountains associated with Japan.

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Deadly Asian hornets that devour bees and can kill humans ‘arrive in Britain’

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They are the killer invaders that target bees with their powerful stings and have even caused the deaths of several people in France.

Now naturalists’ worst fears have been realised with the arrival of deadly Asian hornets in Britain, it has been claimed.

It appears the predators — which are around 3cm long, but are more vicious than smaller varieties and carry a much larger amount of potent venom — have reached the UK.

Asian hornets, which are originally from the Far East, have reportedly been spotted in Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Devon in the last week.

They are believed to have been inadvertently imported to France in 2004 in a shipment of pottery from China.

They have since spread throughout the country and at least six people have already died from anaphylactic shock after being stung by the animals, which can devour up to 50 honey bees a day.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said no confirmed sightings have been made in Britain, but those already allegedly seen in the south of England will be investigated.

The Asian hornets, which are smaller and less dangerous that the Giant Asian hornet — also called the Japanese hornet — are now widespread in France and fears have now been raised that they are on their way over to the UK in their droves after a string of sightings over the past week.

Bee keepers have now been put on high alert by the National Bee Unit (NBU), which works for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). It has asked members of the public to report any sighting of nests.

James Roberts, 35, of Northfleet, Kent, claimed he killed an Asian hornet last week after it flew past him in his garden. He said the hornet was around two-inches long and that he hit it with a newspaper before flushing it down the plughole.

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He said: «I felt something big pass my back and at first thought I was stung, but I wasn’t.

«I went back inside and it must have followed me in because I then noticed it trapped behind the kitchen curtain near the sink.

«I gave it a whack with a rolled up newspaper and it flew off to die in the basin. I have alerted the appropriate authorities.»

Another Asian hornet was reportedly spotted by Lynne Brigg, who trapped it under a glass, at her Surrey home last week.

In Hatherleigh, Devon, another Asian hornet was said to have been spotted by Beverley Palfreman.

She said: «The one I saw was brown with a yellow head — an Asian hornet.»

Chris Taylor, of Hastings, East Sussex, said he spotted an Asian hornet at the weekend.

He said: «It flew past me as I opened the door to the postman and I thought ‘what the hell was that?’. It landed on my kitchen table and I just stared at it and hoped it would fly back out the door.

«There was no way I was going to try and whack it — it was about two inches long and looked pretty angry.

«In the end it found its way back outside and I slammed the door and closed all the windows — I’ve never seen anything like it.»

A National Bee Unit spokesman said: «The Asian hornet, also known as the yellow legged hornet, is native to Asia and was confirmed for the first time in the South West of France in 2004.

«It was thought to have been imported in a consignment of pottery from China and it quickly established and spread to many regions of France.

«The hornet preys on honeybee and disrupts the ecological role which it provides, harming commercial beekeeping activities.

«It has also altered the biodiversity in regions where it is present and is potentially deadly to allergic people.

«All beekeepers should remain vigilant and be on the look out for it in their apiaries.»

He added: «Nests are founded by a single queen who rapidly starts laying eggs after building her nest in April.

«As the colony size increases through the summer, it will reach an average population of 6,000 individuals and in July, hornets will begin predating on honey bee colonies.»

It said the likely areas to be on the lookout for Asian hornets was the south and south East of England, adding: «We strongly encourage that all beekeepers monitor for the Asian hornet.»

Anyone who finds a dead suspected Asian hornet should send it to the National Bee Unit lab so it can be checked.

The spokesman added: «If you suspect that you have found an Asian hornet, you can send a suspect sample to the NBU laboratory for examination.

«Use a suitable sturdy container (cardboard rather than plastic) and provide as much detail as possible about the hornet and where you found it.»

A Defra spokesman said it was aware of the «potential impact» that Asian hornets could have on honey bees and that any confirmed nests would be removed as soon as they were identified.

A spokesman for the London Beekeepers’ Association posted a photo on Twitter of a European hornet and an Asian hornet — warning members to report any sightings immediately.

European hornet on the left. Asian Hornet on the right. If you see the Asian one in UK ring FERA at once.Seriously.

— London Bee Keepers (@LondonBeeKeeper) April 28, 2014

The two hornets are roughly the same size, but the Asian hornet has darker colouring.

Interesting Facts About Hornets: Large Wasps With Paper Nests

Linda Crampton is a writer and teacher with an honors degree in biology. She loves to study nature and write about living things.

What Are Hornets?

Hornets are large and interesting wasps with complex behaviors. They are social insects and live in highly organized colonies. The colony builds an intricate nest from a papery substance made when the hornets chew wood and mix it with their saliva. The resulting structure is a wonderful feat of engineering and is both lightweight and strong.

Hornets eat plant matter and are also predators of other insects. They will sting humans if they’re disturbed, but most are not aggressive at other times. While the sting of some species is no more dangerous than the sting of a common wasp, in other species the sting is very painful and may also be dangerous.

Hornets are widespread and are found in Asia, Europe, Africa, and North America. At the moment, one species of hornet is creating a serious problem for humans. The Asian hornet or Asian predatory wasp is native to China but has colonized other countries as an invasive species. The species is of great concern since it kills bees. A group of Asian hornets can rapidly destroy a honeybee colony, sometimes within a few hours.

What’s the Difference Between a Hornet and a Wasp?

  • A hornet is a type of wasp.
  • The insect family known as the Vespidae contains hornets, yellow jackets (which are the most familiar type of wasp for many people), paper wasps, potter wasps, and pollen wasps.
  • True hornets belong to the genus Vespa within the family Vespidae. The genus is the first part of the scientific name for a living thing. Hornets aren’t native to North America, but the European hornet (Vespa crabro) has been introduced to the continent.
  • Yellow jackets belong to either the genus Vespula or the genus Dolichovespula in the family Vespidae.
  • The bald-faced hornet of North America is actually a type of yellow jacket, although it has black and white markings instead of the black and yellow markings of the common yellow jacket wasps. Its scientific name is Dolichovespulamaculata.

Hornet Nests

Hornet nests are usually aerial and are found in treetops, under roofs or decks, in sheds or garages, in hollow tree trunks, or in other areas that are raised off the ground. The nest is large and is shaped like a football. It contains horizontal combs, which hang in tiers and are connected to each other. Each comb contains many chambers or cells for eggs and larvae. The nest is often surrounded by layers of papery material that insulate the structure.

Some nests are free-hanging. A stalk called a petiole attaches the nest to an object such as a tree branch. Other nests are built in an enclosed space that provides support.

Some people like to collect hornet nests so that they can examine and admire their intricate structure. It’s very important to do this after all the insects have left at the end of the season and not before. Despite their larger size, many hornet species (though not all of them) are less aggressive than the common yellow jacket wasps. All hornets become aggressive if their nest is being attacked, however.

If you need to get an active or possibly active hornet nest removed, it’s best to ask a professional pest controller to do this. He or she will know how to deal with any living insects that are present in the nest.

The Colony

The only member of the hornet colony that reproduces is the queen. Most hornets in the colony are workers, which are sterile females. The workers make the nest after it has been started by the queen and the workers have developed from the eggs that she laid. Workers also feed the young and protect the colony from danger.

Late in the season, males and new queens are born. A male mates with a new queen and dies soon afterwards. In at least some species, a paired male and queen come from different colonies.

In temperate climates, a hornet nest is inhabited for only one year. The worker bees, the males, and the season’s queen die in the autumn. The new queens survive. They spend the winter hiding under loose tree bark, in the soil, or even in a building.

In this article I describe three species of hornets. Their common names can be confusing. The species are introduced in the table below.

Three Interesting Species of Hornets

The European Hornet (Vespa crabro)

In the spring, the new queens of the European hornet emerge from their winter hiding places and find a place to build a nest. They chew wood and mix it with saliva to form a light but strong construction material that is similar to paper mache.

The nest is generally built in an area that provides support for the nest instead of being free-hanging. Nests can be found in hollow cavities in tree trunks and in attics, barns, and sheds. They may even be built in cavities in walls.

European Hornets Guarding Their Nest Entrance

The Queen, Larvae, Pupae, and Workers

  • The European hornet queen makes the first cells of the nest and lays a fertilized egg in each one. After about five to eight days, the eggs hatch into young forms of hornet known as larvae or grubs.
  • The queen feeds the larvae a paste made of her saliva and insects that she has chewed. She also continues to make new cells and to lay eggs.
  • At about two weeks of age, each larva makes a silk cap to fit over the top of its cell. Inside the sealed cell the larva turns into a pupa.
  • Inside the pupa, the young hornet changes into an adult worker bee. The worker then emerges from its cell and takes over the jobs of building the nest and feeding the larvae.
  • The larvae release a sweet secretion which the workers eat. The secretion contains amino acids as well as sugars. It provides the workers with energy and encourages them to keep feeding the grubs.
  • Once enough workers have emerged from the pupae, the queen’s sole job is to lay eggs.
  • European hornets fly during the night as well as during the day to collect food.
  • The hornets prey on other insects, including flies, beetles, grasshoppers, bees, and yellow jackets.
  • The workers sometimes damage trees because they strip the bark to get to the sap. They can also damage fruit crops. However, they may help humans by killing harmful insects.

European Hornets Feeding on Tree Sap in North America

The Drones and New Queens

  • In late summer, males (or drones) are produced from unfertilized eggs.
  • In the fall, new queens develop from fertilized eggs.
  • The new queens leave the colony and mate with males from other colonies.
  • The queens store the sperm in their bodies until it’s needed to fertilize eggs in the spring. They find a place to hide and become dormant over the winter.
  • When the sperm starts to become active in the spring, fertilization begins. The queen is able to produce a new colony from the stored sperm.

The Asian Giant Hornet (Vespa mandarinia)

The largest hornet in the world is the Asian giant hornet, or Vespa mandarinia. It has a body length of about two inches, a wingspan of about three inches, and a stinger that is about a quarter of an inch long. The Japanese giant hornet is a subspecies of the Asian giant hornet and has the scientific name Vespa mandarinia japonica. Unlike other hornets, the Asian giant hornet often forms underground nests in cavities such as tunnels created by rodents.

Native bees in Japan have developed a fascinating way to defend themselves against the much larger hornets. When a hornet scout finds a honeybee colony, it releases communication chemicals called attack pheromones. If the scout returns to its own colony, the pheromones will attract the other hornets and trigger their attack on the bees.

The honeybees can detect the pheromones released by the hornet scout. They allow the hornet to approach and lure it into their hive. The bees then surround and cover the unfortunate hornet, forming a «bee ball».

The honeybees in the bee ball vibrate their wing muscles rapidly, raising the temperature around the hornet to as high as 115°F (46°C). The crowd of bees also releases a large amount of carbon dioxide. The combination of high temperature and high carbon dioxide concentration kills the scout, preventing it from communicating with its colony. Bees introduced to Japan from another country (such as European honeybees) haven’t developed the overheating behavior and are often slaughtered by attacking hornets.

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Effects on Humans

The sting of the Asian giant hornet is very painful for humans and is potentially dangerous. The venom is powerful and contains chemicals that can destroy human tissue and interfere with nerve action. A significant number of people in Japan die from giant hornet stings every year.

In September 2019, Vespa mandarinia was discovered in British Columbia, where I live. Though it doesn’t seem to seek humans out, if it’s threatened it will sting. Ten or more stings are said to be very dangerous and even potentially life-threatening. The insect is also a threat for beekeepers, since the local bees don’t use the predator-heating behavior and may be destroyed by the hornet.

Some people in Japan like to eat giant hornets in either a raw or fried form. The secretion produced by the larvae to attract workers is known as vespa amino acid mixture, or VAAM. It gives the workers energy and is the basis of a Japanese sports drink, which contains synthetic chemicals similar to those in the larval secretion.

The Asian Hornet (Vespa velutina)

The Asian hornet is sometimes called the Asian predatory wasp or the yellow-legged hornet. It’s not the same insect as the Asian giant hornet. Since the common names of hornets can be confusing, it’s always a good idea to check the scientific name when reading or hearing about the insects.

The Asian hornet can be recognized by its generally dark body, the orange coloration on the rear half of its abdomen, the yellow or orange bands on the abdomen, the orange face, and the yellow legs. The insect is believed to have entered France in a shipment of Chinese pottery in 2004 and has spread to other European countries.

In France, the Asian hornet builds its nests in tall trees, under decks, in sheds, or in garages. The hornet attacks bees to provide food for its larvae. The chewed bees provide a protein-rich meal for the grubs. The hornet rips a bee’s body apart, removing the head, legs, and wings. The thorax (the section in front of the abdomen that bears the wings and contains the wing muscles) makes a high-quality food.

Fighting Asian Hornets in Spain

An Invasive Insect

The Asian hornet is native to China but is now found in France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, and Italy. It has also been discovered in Japan and Korea. In 2016, it was found in Britain.

The main concern about the insect is its threat to honeybees. Although Asian hornet venom isn’t considered to be especially toxic to humans, because each hornet is large it releases more venom than many other stinging insects. Stings from multiple hornets have hospitalized people in France.

Using Pitcher Plants to Catch Hornets

The head of the Nantes Botanical Garden in France has discovered that a particular species of pitcher plant in the garden traps Asian hornets. The plant doesn’t catch European hornets, other wasps, or bees. It belongs to the genus Sarracenia and is native to eastern North America.

Pitcher plants are carnivorous. They make food by photosynthesis like other plants, but they also trap and digest insects to obtain nitrogen. They often live in bogs, where the soil is generally low in nitrogen.

Pitcher plants have long leaves that form a tube. There are nectaries on the lip of the tube. Like those in flowers, the nectaries on the leaves produce a sweet secretion that attracts insects. Pitcher plants may also release pheromones, which are chemicals that attract insects. When the insects land on the slippery rim of the tube, they fall into it. The plant then digests them with powerful secretions.

It has been suggested that pitcher plants could be used to destroy the Asian hornet. The plants might be helpful, as long as they don’t cause problems themselves. Realistically, though, a huge number of pitcher plants would be needed in order to control the hornet colonies. It’s also been suggested that the pitcher plant chemicals that attract the hornets could be used in an artificial trap, which might work better. The problem is that we need to learn how to make the attractant chemicals synthetically.

The Problem of Introduced Animals

Hornets are fascinating creatures. A study of the different hornet types and their lives reveals a common observation about life on Earth. An animal species that has inhabited an area for a long time has developed features that help it survive successfully in that environment. However, if the species is moved to a new environment and interacts with creatures that it’s never encountered before—or if it doesn’t encounter its usual predators—problems may develop.

Honeybee populations around the world are already in trouble due to a variety of stresses. Hopefully the spread of the Asian hornet through Europe can be stopped, removing one source of pressure for the local honeybees.


  • European hornet information from PennState College of Agricultural Sciences
  • Facts about European hornets from the University of Kentucky
  • Information about Vespa mandarinia from the University of Washington La Crosse
  • Honeybees protect themselves from the Japanese giant hornet from Smithsonian Magazine
  • The Asian giant hornet has appeared in British Columbia from Global News
  • Vespa velutina facts from the CABI Invasive Species Compendium
  • The Asian hornet has arrived in Britain from the BBC
  • Pitcher plants in France destroy Asian hornets from the BBC

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

I live in eastern Oregon. It’s February and we had to do some demolition on our basement. We found a large football sized paper nest. Is it empty of wasps or hornets at this time of year?

You need to ask a pest control expert in your area this question. They will know about your local climate and weather conditions and other factors that may be relevant in your part of the world. They may also inspect the nest if this is necessary.

How do I get rid of hornets and their nest?

Personally, I think it’s too dangerous to do this job yourself because of the risks involved if something goes wrong. Removal of a nest by a homeowner is sometimes successful, but not always. Hornets disturbed as their nest is destroyed are very likely to sting. My advice is to contact a pest control expert and ask them to get rid of the nest.

I’ve been watching adult hornets removing grubs from the nest in our house wall and flying off with them. Is this usual?

What an interesting observation. Necrophoresis is the removal of dead individuals from the nest in social insects. Ants and honey bees are known to remove dead individuals from their colonies. I’ve never read anything about hornets performing the same behavior, but it’s possible that they do.

How do I know I have a wood wasp invasion?

Wood wasps or horntails are solitary, stingless insects. They belong to the order Hymenoptera, like hornets. The females lay their eggs in the wood of dying or dead conifers. At the same time, a female squirts a fungus from her abdominal gland into the wood. The fungus digests the wood, which enables the larvae of the wasp to eat it. The larvae that hatch from the eggs burrow through the tree and feed on it as they grow and develop. Eventually, an adult emerges from a round exit hole that they chew.

The tunnels or galleries that the larvae produce, the exit holes, and the wood dust that is created can be signs of an infestation in a tree, as can the increased attention to the area by woodpeckers. Unfortunately, the infested wood may be collected for building projects, spreading the insects to new areas. The insects don’t deliberately infest buildings, though. If they emerge from wood in a home, for example, they won’t reinfest it.

The signs described above suggest that a wasp has affected the wood. To be sure that the damage is created by the wasp and not another creature, a pest or insect expert should be consulted to look at the affected wood and—if they’re present—to examine the eggs, larvae, and adults. This should enable the person to diagnose the problem.

How far can a bald-faced hornet spray its venom?

The bald-faced hornet is not a true hornet, despite its name, but it’s an interesting insect. It has the ability to both inject its venom into its enemies and to spray or squirt the venom at them. The insect aims the spray at the face and eyes of a predator that actually attacks the nest. It also flies towards people and animals that come too close to the nest and injects its venom into them with its stinger.

I’ve never seen any measurement of the distance that the insect can spray its venom, but since it can be aggressive while protecting its colony, it’s a good idea to stay well away from the nest.

My wife and I frequently walk in the same location in Norfolk, UK, and every year in spring and early summer we find hornets in the same location. They are on a couple of ancient and very large oak trees and appear to be in places where the bark is broken or is holed. I thought they were feeding on tree sap but wonder now if they are chewing the bark for nest building. Is June too late for that?

Though hornet nests are built in spring, they are often enlarged during the summer. Therefore June isn’t too late for the workers to gather bark and wood. They often add more cells to the nest in the summer, enabling the colony to grow. The hornets that you see on the oak trees may also be feeding on tree sap through holes created by woodpeckers.

How far do hornets fly from their nests?

The distance likely depends on the species of hornet and perhaps on the insect’s size and habitat. I’ve found several results for wasps, but not specifically for hornets, which are a type of wasp. The foraging distance is in the range of hundreds of metres, but the exact distance discovered in experiments varies.

In New Zealand, researchers set up poisonous bait stations for invasive Vespula vulgaris wasps. They found dead wasps at stations located up to 450 metres from the nest but not at those located 800 metres from the nest. A government of New Zealand document about four species of invasive wasps (including Vespula vulgaris) says that they forage mainly within 200 metres from the nest. The University of Kentucky says that yellow jacket wasps forage several hundred yards from the nest. This is roughly the same as the previous measurements, since a yard is just a little under a metre in length.

I live in Queens, NYC, and there is a baldfaced hornets’ nest in my little yard. Right now I no longer see hornets flying in/out. at least not in the time I’ve been watching. There is what I’ve identified as a larva just inside the entrance to the nest: I can see it squirming. It is the 3rd week in October. We have NOT had any frost, yet. Has the nest been abandoned?

The only person who can tell you whether the nest is abandoned is a local expert from a pest control company. It’s not safe to take down the nest yourself if that’s what you plan to do. An expert must examine the nest while taking suitable safety precautions to determine whether it’s still being used by the insects.

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How many hornet stings can a person withstand before dying?

The Merck Manual (a respected book about medicine) says that the average person can tolerate ten bee, wasp, or hornet stings per pound of body weight. I think we need to interpret this information cautiously, though. Some people are allergic to the venom and might be killed by even one sting if treatment isn’t provided quickly. Some insects are bigger than others or inject more venom with their sting, which would reduce the number of safe stings. Some people’s bodies may not be able to deal with the venom properly, even when no allergy is present. The venom of some species may be more harmful than the venom of others.

Here is the Merck Manual reference.

Since I’ve moved to Wellton, I’m wondering what hornets eat?

If you look at the European hornet section of the article, you’ll see that it eats insects, tree sap, and fruit. Despite its name, the European hornet is found in North America, where it’s an introduced species. The bald-faced hornet is also found in North America, but technically it’s a yellow jacket, not a hornet.

How do hornets fly?

Hornets fly by indirect flight. This means that instead of moving their wings directly, they move their thorax, which then causes the wings to move.

The first step in moving the wings is to contract muscles running from the top to the bottom of the thorax (dorsoventral muscles). This moves the top of the thorax down, causing the wings to move upwards.

In the second step of flight, muscles moving from the front to the back of the thorax (longitudinal muscles) contract. The causes to top of the thorax to bend upwards and the wings to move downwards.

The moving wings create airflow patterns that support the insect in the air.


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Linda Crampton

8 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

I hope your sting causes you only minor problems. As I say in the article, the insect isn’t a true hornet. I have read that it can be aggressive when it detects danger near its nest, however, so it is possible that there’s a nest nearby.


I was just stung by a Bald Faced Hornet in my yard. Does that mean a nest is close by?

Linda Crampton

19 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

I appreciate your comment, Glyn.


That is really interesting material Linda, thank you very much.

Linda Crampton

2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

When I lived in Europe, I worried far more about being stung by the common wasps that I encountered than by the European hornets. As I say in the article, though, the European hornet can be aggressive if its nest is being disturbed. Some species of hornets seem to be more dangerous than others. Unfortunately, the sting of the Asian giant hornet has killed people.


Do hornets ussally sting or are they like solitary wasps and can a giant Asian hornets sting kill you?

Linda Crampton

2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

I don’t know the specific distance for bald faced hornets, but I’ve read that most wasps travel up to 200 metres from their nest. Some may travel as far as 1000 metres from the nest.

Larry Morris

How far from the nest do balf faced hornets wander?

Linda Crampton

3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Hi, Vanessa. I haven’t seen any reports of the hornet in British Columbia. Its appearance is a scary thought! If you haven’t already done so, you might want to contact the Invasive Species Council of British Columbia via their website and see what they think. If they can’t identify the insect they might send the photo to an expert who can.

Vanessa Montgomery

Do you know if Asian hornets are in British Columbia ? I took pictures of it and very similar . It doesnt have a yellow head but a black head and enormous orange body with yellow strip on top . Its rather large as well with long yellow legs . I have a picture if I can send it . I also sent it to BC insect websites.

Demas W Jasper

4 years ago from Today’s America and The World Beyond

Thanks for replying.

Linda Crampton

4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Hi, Perspycacious. Hornets do carry out some pollination, but not as much as bees. The European hornet is present in North America, but the Asian ones aren’t at the moment.

Demas W Jasper

4 years ago from Today’s America and The World Beyond

Just stopping by. If I see a hornet on a vegetable blossom is it helpful to some extent in polinating, or is it just there chasing some other insects? Did you state or imply that the European Hornet is already in America? Our troubling history of the Chinese Pine Bark Beetle is another bad example of Made In China!

Linda Crampton

4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

I’m glad to hear that your class is so good, Connie.


My class is awesome

Linda Crampton

6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thank you very much, apples123!


amazing facts about hornets : ) ‘.’

Linda Crampton

7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thank you very much for the comment, DDE. It’s nice to meet you!

Devika Primić

7 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

A well researched Hub we have these hornets in Croatia and you have enlightened me even more on the subject, thanks

Linda Crampton

7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thank you so much, Eddy! I appreciate the comment, the vote and the share. I hope that you have a great day, too!


7 years ago from Wales

I knew hardly anything on Hornets but I do now!!This is a brilliant hub which I vote up and share. Thank you for sharing and enjoy your day.

Linda Crampton

7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thank you very much for the visit and the comment, teaches!

Dianna Mendez

Interesting hub post, Alicia. I have never seen so much facts, data and trivia on these insects.

Linda Crampton

7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thank you so much for the lovely comment, Deb! I appreciate it very much.

Deb Hirt

7 years ago from Stillwater, OK

Incredibly good information, Alicia, with superb detail. The photos and videos are also very good and well placed.

Linda Crampton

7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thank you for the visit, Nell. I’ve been stung by a wasp (or yellow jacket) but not by a hornet, luckily. It is a very scary situation being around wasps if people know that they are allergic to the sting!

Nell Rose

7 years ago from England

This is a fascinating article and explains so much that I just didn’t know about the hornet, I did wonder what the difference between them and wasps were, it seems that they are all the same family, but some of them are more dangerous. I know that wasps hurt like hell when they sting, I got stung a few years back, so hornets frighten the life out of me! purely because I am asthmatic and am always afraid that I will get a reaction, but amazing little things, nell

Linda Crampton

7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thanks for the interesting comment, Peggy, and thank you for the votes too. Wasps are very interesting, but some of them certainly can be annoying at times!

Peggy Woods

7 years ago from Houston, Texas

This is a fascinating article Alicia. It is a shame when non native species cause havoc in the environment. The decimation of honey bees world-wide is a huge problem. We have a red bodied wasp or hornet that lives in our area and builds hard mud type of nests against our brick homes. They are named or nick-named mud dobbers. Not sure of their real name. We are constantly chiseling the nests away from our homes. They are not overly aggressive. Up and interesting votes.

Linda Crampton

7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Hi, Cynthia. I agree — the honeybees have enough problems without the presence of the Asian hornet. This new stress may be very serious for the honeybee population. Thank you for the comment.


7 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

Interesting hub on hornets Alicia, with great information. Especially worrying about the Asian hornets that have established themselves as an invasive species in France. Our European honey bees are under enough pressure without them having to deal with a new predator

Linda Crampton

7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Hi, Prasetio! Thank you very much for the visit. I appreciate your comment and vote.


7 years ago from malang-indonesia

Dear friend, Alicia. You always find the best topic about plants and animal kingdom. I learn many things about hornet from this hub. good job and vote up. Cheers.

Linda Crampton

7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thanks for the comment and the votes, Tom. I think that hornets are fascinating insects. Some of their behavior is very interesting to observe!

Thomas Silvia

7 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi my friend very interesting and fascinating information, some of it i did not know before.

Vote up and more .

Linda Crampton

7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thanks for the interesting comment, moonlake. I’ve never heard of this idea before! I appreciate your vote.

Linda Crampton

7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thank you very much for the comment, drbj. I’m so glad that you enjoyed the hub! I appreciate your visit and the vote.


7 years ago from America

We still have pieces of a hornets nest hanging on our house. If the old nest is left behind the hornets won’t come back that is the word out there that I heard so to keep the hornets off our deck we left pieces of the nest. It has worked. Interesting hub enjoyed reading it. Voted up.

drbj and sherry

7 years ago from south Florida

Via your hub is the closest I plan to get to a hornet, Alicia. What fascinating creatures they are and what a fascinating, educational hub, m’dear. I’m amazed at how the Japanese honeybees have developed their ‘beeball’ technique to conquer a hornet invader. They are definitely banzai bees! This hub is an Up+.

Linda Crampton

7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thank you, Martie! I appreciate your comment and visit very much. Hornets are very interesting insects to study!

Martie Coetser

7 years ago from South Africa

Truly the most interesting and fascinating information about Hornets, and accompanied by awesome videos. Alicia, this is really excellent work, well-researched. Bravo!

Linda Crampton

7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thank you very much for the visit and the comment, Mhatter99.

Martin Kloess

7 years ago from San Francisco

Fascinating creatures. Thank you for sharing.

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