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Wasp nest? - Dolichovespula maculata

Wasp nest? - Dolichovespula maculata
Greenwich, Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
August 13, 2007
Size: 24"+ circumference
What type of nest is this? We have one nest and have had several ground nests (in the lawn under the grass) in addition to small paper nests on the house. Should this be considered dangerous with children playing in the yard? We enjoy gardening and hope the nest provides some balance but worry about the proximity to our home.

Bald-faced Hornet (Dolichovespula maculata)
ground nests and small paper nest you mention are from different species. Danger by this hornet's nest depends mainly of two factors: its height from the ground (the higher, the less dangerous), and what children are actually playing in the yard. Should they throw some ball onto this mapple tree, then the workers are likely to counterattack.
In four to six weeks now, annual cycle will be done and the nest abandonned. From the point of view of ecological balance this species actually provides, it's worthy to try to continue peaceful coexistence until late september.

Yellowjacket nest.
This is probably a nest of the bald-faced "hornet," Dolichovespula maculata, which is actually a large yellowjacket, not a true hornet. They are predatory, specializing mostly on flies, so they are indeed nice to have around. Despite reports to the contrary, they are not aggressive unless the nest itself is unduly disturbed. Let it be if you can.

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