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bee Hornets

Identify It >   Invertebrates Section >   Hornets >

Scientific name:  Vespa crabro

Size:  Up to 35mm

Distribution:  Mostly found in south east England and as far north as Nottinghamshire

Months seen:  May to November

Habitat:  Woodlands, parks and gardens

Food:  Sugary foods such as nectar and fruit. The larvae eat other insects which are brought to them by the adults

Special features:  Hornets are the biggest wasps found in the UK, and are our largest social insect.nbsp; They differ from common wasps in both size and colour.  Common wasps are yellow and black, while hornets are yellow and brown.

In spring, just like other social wasps, hornets build a papery nest to house the queen and her developing larvae.  The nest is usually constructed inside hollow trees, buildings and roof spaces.

They do this by scraping wood from, trees, buildings etc. and mixing it with their saliva to form a pulp.  This is then shaped with the jaws to create the walls of the nest.

Unlike common wasps which fly by day, hornets fly by day and after dark, provided there is light to guide them.  They will fly to lighted windows, and buzz around security lights at any hour of the night.

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