Thursday, 15 November 2012

What On Earth.....



Living deep in the countryside, there are surprises around every corner.

Up behind our barn, in an old Walnut tree, I've just discovered this HUGE hornet's nest. It is about 2 ft long, and 18 ins wide. When I took these photos I saw a few hornets still flying around; in the Summer it must have contained enough nasty insects to kill an entire army.

The dropping of Autumn leaves reveals many secrets; occasionally nasty dangerous ones like this!.



I've informed the owner of the field, and it will probably be destroyed. It would be nice to get the whole thing down intact (without the hornets), but I imagine that's near impossible.

For true impact, do enlarge photos.


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30 comments:

  1. That looks a huge nest - just as well no-one disturbed it by accident while the leaves were on the tree.

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  2. what are the positive attributes of hornets? How do they fit into nature apart from being a nuisance to us?

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    Replies
    1. 1.They do eat wasps. 2. There's no No 2.

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    2. Hmm...and wasps, although at times a nuisance DO eat other pests....

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  3. I have only come across them occasionally - they are vicious looking beasts

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    Replies
    1. I'm not sure if this is the nest of the usual common hornet, or the recently introduced Asian hornet. Both are extremely dangerous.

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  4. Retire to a distance of a mile or two and load the Howitzer with grape. There's little more horrible than a wasp, but hornets are it.

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  5. We had a nest in the garden this year Cro and they were the Asian hornet. It costs 70 Euro to clear by the official route or a bottle of Pastis the unofficial way.

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    Replies
    1. Or do as my neighbour did last year, and get the local 'chasse' round. They used up about 500 cartridges just blasting away until there was nothing left!

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  6. Nasty beasts, they really are. A very good friend of mine died from a hornet sting -- 20 minutes after being stung.

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  7. The good thing about hornets is that they are nowhere near as aggressive as wasps, and rarely attack humans or other animals - unless you start messing about with their nests.

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    Replies
    1. I made a home-made trap for them this year. A large jam jar with hole in lid and beer/jam in jar. I must have caught 100's.

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    2. The homemade trap is good information.

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  8. Wow, Cro! That's one ugly beast of a nest!

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  9. In Toronto they sell wasps nests in some of the hip vintage furniture stores. They go from $100 to $200 depending on the size. Most desirable are one with a branch going through it.

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    Replies
    1. That's almost why I'd like to keep it intact. They're fascinating objects.

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  10. It would be interestidng to see a cross section of it.

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  11. Have never seen a hornets' nest before, even in a photo. How cleverly made. How big! I would never have expected it.

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  12. oh ah!! hope that gets sorted!...it looks amazing though...yes it would be great to have it without the hornets as a exhibit somewhere!

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  13. We had a huge one like that a several years ago at the former location. Like you, i had no idea it was there until the leaves fell and gawped at it. I first thought it was a bag caught in a tree.

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  14. Did you know hornets are a protected species in Germany? They're great predators for small insects.
    I'm glad I don't live in Germany.

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    Replies
    1. I always knew the Germans were bizarre.

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  15. They play a minor role in pollination as well...

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  16. Wasps do go dormant in the cold. How about I send over our bee suits to you and on Christmas morn you climb up the tree and grab the nest. Bring a good smoking fire to scare off any remaining wasps, and then paint the sucker gold and plop it on top your tree. Better than the traditional and oh so dull angel. I'm sure your Mrs will be so pleased

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  17. Oh wait. It's a HORNETS nest. Never mind

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  18. With the grandkids and dogs around I would have destroyed the thing yesterday. Our little Sophie was near death from those nasty beasts.

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  19. the blue of that shy is as imporessive as danial craig's eyes

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    Replies
    1. We're having a wonderful Indian Summer!

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  20. Wow, that is one monster nest. When my brother and I were kids, we discovered a nest maybe half that size hanging beside our grandfather's old deserted chicken coops. He thought it would be great sport to shoot at the nest with his BB gun. While he was taking aim, I took off running as fast as my legs could carry me. He got stung. I didn't.

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  21. Yes, there are many hidden secrets of summer exposed in the dead of winter. What an awesome find, no matter how dangerous. Nice photos.

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