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Bald Faced Hornet Nest? - Dolichovespula maculata

Bald Faced Hornet Nest? - Dolichovespula maculata
Hainesport backyard, near pool attached to evergreen, Burlington County, New Jersey, USA
November 1, 2008
Size: Larger than a basketball
Just saw this yesterday! How I missed it all summer is beyond me. I think it's a hornet's nest but not sure. Did see serveral large 'yellowjacket' type fliers all summer. Also noticed these same large bugs 'skimming' off the surfaces of old wood. Sorry I was unable to get any active shots. I'll pay more attention next year!
This pic is more of a side view. Best I could get due to it's well hidden location

Images of this individual: tag all
Bald Faced Hornet Nest? - Dolichovespula maculata Bald Faced Horney Nest? - Dolichovespula maculata

Moved from Dolichovespula.

I would say yes, bald faced hornet nest just because of how large it is, but one cannot be certain it is not from the common aerial yellowjacket.

Are they done with it?
I'm going to assume for the time being that it is Hornet. Do you think they are done with it? I'd like to take it down and inspect it but I don't want to kill off any. Nor do I wish to be attacked! =O

It should be late enough by now, but just incase, I would collect it on a cool morning.

It is definitely NOT a hornet nest. it can only be either D. maculata or D. arenaria

These nests are very neat, it is fun to collect them. good luck getting it down and post pics when you do =)

Dolichovespula maculata
I looked both and the muculata seems a good fit. We saw these on strips of wood that I had cut (for other purposes)and set aside. We saw them scraping off the 'gray' wood from the surface and was wondering what they were doing. Guess now we know. The arenaria nests look much neater without the layering that I see on mine. I don't know alot about this stuff so I'm just speculating.
Thanks for the info! If I do remove it I'll post it for sure!

That "scalloped" look is supposed to be characteristic of bald-faced hornet nests, so I think your observation is on the right track.

If I were you, I'd wait for a good freeze before taking it down for a better look. I'm in Massachusetts, and I've seen active ones fairly recently.

Thats a good idea
wait for a good frosting or freeze. here in PA, we have already had quite a few good strong frosts and i think most nests are now inactive here.
this nest looks mostly inactive, there might be a few stragglers left inside but not a big threat

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