Saturday, April 26, 2014

Work of Art from a Bald-Faced Hornet

 According to Wickipedia, the bald-faced hornet actually belongs to a genus of yellowjackets in North America, but unlike many congeners it lacks yellow coloring.   Instead, it is called a hornet in the American sense of a wasp that builds paper nests.  It is best known for its large, football-shaped paper nest, which it builds in the spring to rear young.  The bald-faced hornet is protective of the nest and will sting repeatedly if it is disturbed.  This wasp is more aggressive than most yellowjackets of Dolichovespula and the genus Vespula, and the nest should be observed only from a distance.

Uhmmmm - had I known this yesterday I probably wouldn't have been sticking my camera under the hose hangar in my backyard.  And unfortunately, since this is near a water spigot that I will probably be using daily to water my vegetable garden, it's going to have to go.  Or at least Mr. Hornet is.


am of two minds on this - while I don't want to be stung, this hornet "home" is absolutely a beautiful work of art.  Isn't it incredible how even a small insect can create something so delicate and colorful with only wood and saliva?  It's about the size of a tennis ball or maybe just a little smaller.  Most nests are much bigger than this one and oval-shaped so it makes one wonder - was Mr. Hornet was just making a condo for himself? Not only that but it appears to have a double wall for protection from the elements.  And I wonder how it's attached to the hose hangar!