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Hornet Adventure - Vespa crabro

Hornet Adventure - Vespa crabro
Near Ruraldale, Upshur County, West Virginia, USA
September 3, 2005
This is the first year I have seen the European Hornet near my home. I was surprised to find them attrated to lights.

The first time I saw them, there were a number of them showing special attention to this twig. Are these scale insects? I assume they are producing honeydew that attracts the hornets. Not only the European Hornets but also the Bald-faced Hornet and at least one other kind of wasp were also visiting these twigs.

Every now and then the European hornets would fly at and grab one of the other hornets or wasps. They seemed to fly or glide to the ground with them. I wasn't able to locate them after they landed, but I assume it didn't go well for those who were grabbed.

Wonder if the European Hornets are recently arrived in my area, or if I just missed them before. Wonder if they will eat all or run off all the native Bald-faced Hornets?

Anyone who can comment on the behaviors or the alleged scale insects, please do.

Vespa crabro
Hi I have been living on Long Island. NY since I was a kid who used to spend my days catching bees and hornets with a jar. I used to like to shake the jar up until they were all stinging each other. I still have to stop when ever I see one and watch it for a while.
Up until yesterday I never saw a Vespa crabro. European Hornet? So I guess they are new here too. It had gotten into the house so I killed it with bug spray. Its alot bigger than any baldfaced hornet I ever saw.
For many years now, except the yellow jacket, the populations of wasps and hornets including the all yellow "golden bumble bee" have dwindled down to nothing here. I think it is due to the mosquito spraying they have been doing for the past 8 years.
Any comments on this?

Yes, scale insects.
Looks like the tulip tree scale (or is it the tortoiseshell scale?) Arg! Scales exude honeydew like aphids, so no surprise why the hornet is there.

On Tulip
If memory serves this was on a very young Tulip Poplar.

Thanks, Eric!


Stephen Cresswell
Buckhannon, WV

Great shot Steve,
I found them here in SC PA for the first time this year also. They seem to be rather agressive to other bees. Great spot on Nat Geo channel on the Giant Hornets in Japan. Don't know it they are related to ours here but those were super aggressive to humans.


The NG channel's show "Hornet
The NG channel's show "Hornets From Hell" is about the Japanese Giant Hornet, Vespa mandarina. The European/American hornet, Vespa crabro, is a smaller relative (although still larger than any other social wasp in either Europe or North American). It is not so aggressive to humans but will defend its nest if disturbed.

Okay I'm allergic to wasps [we get mainly what you would call yellow jackets here in England but some "Norwegian" Wasp as well].

I'm unsure if I'm allergic to Hornets but I don't take that chance but Last night I was in a friend's car driving home and I thought I had a beetle on my hand. Well then considering how concerned I am about my allergy, I freaked because I realised I had _the_ biggest Vespa Crabo ive ever seen in my life perched on top my hand passively like a Grasshopper would sit on a blade of grass. Needless to say I freaked moved my hand quickly then discovered to my further horror that said Hornet had transferred its position to my Crotch.

I had to get out the Car brush it off and it gently tumbled to the ground rolled over and just sat on the side of the road passively looking up at me. It was 1:30 am dark and the last thing I was expecting was an encounter with one. I live in London I should add.

Okay my question is this.. Was it passive because it was night ? was it passive because I didn't react to its presence aggressively or did I get lucky and get a male as it made NO move to sting me and it could so easily have done.



Yes they are that docile away
Yes they are that docile away from the nest. When they counter people they timidly crawl backwards and fly away, I think the hornet was just as shocked as you LOL

And quite fascinating to say the least! I just watched this same episode (Hornets From Hell) today and am absolutely amazed at the quickness and aggressiveness of these insects. I hope to never come anywhere close to these creatures, as their nests are said to be up to 9 colonies in height (as shown in the episode!).

That's the one.....
Andy. A very interesting film. I hope they stay over there. :)


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