Monday, 27 April 2015

Queen Hornet

Yesterday, my Mum disturbed a queen hornet when she was moving a pile of dead leaves to the compost bin. Apparently it was very cross and was crashing around in the wheelbarrow, so she caught it in a plastic pot as that seemed to be the best way to stop it stinging her.

It means we got to have a really good look at her and what an impressive creature! She was about the length of a 10 pence piece (we put one next to her as a comparison) and had an amazing face with large 'C' shaped eyes and 3 studs on the top of her head. Her thorax looked like it was covered in dark red leather and she was surprisingly hairy. I've never seen one before and you can understand why they have their fearsome reputation, as she was quite intimidating. I wouldn't want to mess with her anyway!
The queens emerge from their overwintering in early April and start nest building mid-May. Their sting is supposed to be incredibly painful, so, beautiful as they are, you don't really want a hornets nest in your back garden. Mum's planning to release her well away from any houses so she hopefully doesn't bother anybody.


We logged the sighting on the BWARS (Bees, wasps and ants recording society) website and uploaded the photos.


  1. Nice looking creature but I have a phobia of wasps, so I will stay well clear of that lol I much prefer my water vole that I saw today at Cley (on my blog if you want to see it) lol

  2. Lovely! Thank you for submitting your sighting too.


  3. Thanks, really interesting to see her up close.