09.29.2013 Bald-faced hornet nest

It’s a good thing I was mowing the lawn and not trimming the bushes today.  I’ve seen these nests often enough but usually they are high in a tree and unapproachable.  We have one in our yard in one of the forsythias and it is just a foot or so off the ground.  I think in the morning I might clip a couple of twigs and shoot some more after that.  Although called hornets, they are actually wasps, related to yellow jackets and can be very aggressive in protecting the nest.

So here is the nest…it is a wonder of construction all made by the hornets chewing twigs and making paper by mixing with their saliva and depositing it until the nest is complete.Bald-faced-Hornet-nest-092913-800WebAlso known as a white-faced hornet, their markings are quite recognizable.Bald-faced-Hornet-092913-800WebAnd the answer is…yes, but just once. 🙂

About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Animal Behavior, Closeup Photography, Insect Behavior, Insects, Nature Photography and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to 09.29.2013 Bald-faced hornet nest

  1. Very unusual photo of the hornet’s nest. Don’t think that I’ve seen one. About 6-7 years ago I was stung about 3-4 times on my legs. The hornets were in the ground and I moved some flower pots and they went after me. Hurt like h—. I ran to the house, grabbed a benadryl capule, opened it up and dribbled it onto my tongue. Happened to have some prednisone left from a RX and I took that too. Would have needed the ER if I had not had the meds to take.


  2. Lottie Nevin says:

    I had no idea that is how they make their nests, how fascinating. A friend was telling me about Birds nest soup the other day (I’d always thought it was a joke) apparently the swallows or swifts or whatever birds it is, use their spit to make the nests – These nests are highly prized by the Chinese in cuisine. There was I thinking it was just a dish made with egg noodles! Be careful, Steve, don’t get stung.


  3. Andrew says:

    They are a work of art these nests but you definitely have to treat them with respect. I have had the odd wasp sting but never a hornet. Most are not aggressive but interfering with the nest will change that pretty quickly. PWC. Photograph with care!


  4. That’s an intriguing architecture. I wonder if Gaudí was influenced by insects like these.That’s an intriguing architecture. I wonder if Gaudí was influenced by insects like these.


  5. Lyle Krahn says:

    It’s nice to see you are making friends with the new neighbours!


  6. Office Diva says:

    Jeepers, creepers. It’s like the big hive from the movie “Aliens”…..yeeeesh! I shall be seeing that buggy face in my dreams, methinks.

    How does that game go, rock/paper/scissors? Rock crushes scissors, paper covers rock, and as usual, scissors ANNIHILATE Paper Hornets Nest!! Nah, just kidding. Scissors are not the answer. How about FIRE?? Napalm?? Sorry, man, but up the shorts means all-out WAR in my book. Flame thrower, that’s the ticket. Nothing survives the flame-thrower, even the nasty alien that tried to take out Sigourney Weaver. All you need is a front end loader, a flame thrower, and a space suit and you’re good to go.

    Ok, I haven’t written anything that ridiculous in awhile. I think I’m back. Happy heck of a Tuesday to ya. 🙂


    • Yeah, fire has been suggested. But as a card carryin’ bleedin’ heart tree huggin’ spotted owl and nature lover I could never do that. Unless they invade my living space the rest of the world is their domain.
      Welcome back, Dame Diva. 🙂


  7. Sandra says:

    Wow, what a big nest – fascinating and scary at the same time!


    • Funnily, I was not at all worried while shooting the nest. And even with the three hundred I was only a few feet away but did not present a threat apparently. Well, there was one little burn but I am not even sure it was one of the nest dwellers. Could have just been a rogue nerve ending in my outer shell. 🙂 🙂


  8. Just Rod says:

    We get one or two wasp nests each year at the cabin. They are amazing structures – but when they get too close we have to take them down while quite small. If they decide to attack in numbers it is very dangerous.
    Great photos.


    • Thanks, Rod.
      Are they the more common mud nests or the paper nests like these? I would like to save ours but, as you can see, that would require major forsythia surgery.


      • Just Rod says:

        The paper variety. Extremely delicate they start off so fmsll and gradually build up the structure. We occasionally find an abondoned nest that we are able to let the hrs kids take to school.


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