Nature Notes #11 (10.09.12. Hornet update)

Nature Notes #11 (10.09.12. Hornet update)

An update on the European Hornet’s nest at Dead Lake, Delamere Forest.

The nest is positioned at the top of an old decaying pine tree at the edge of a lake in the forest.

The base of a decaying pine tree which supports the hornet’s nest.

The pine tree with the nesting hole (pale area at top of tree) with  hornets entering.

The hornets have now created a paper porch to the entrance. Curiously, a nest of Common Wasps are present at the back of the tree and subsequently opposite the hornet’s nest. What both species gain from this close relationship is open to question?

I got this reply back from Simon Walker on  who said… Wasps can be quite aggressive under the right circumstances.  I’ve seen them raiding wild bees’ nests on more than one occasion.  Hornets tend to be quite mild unless you interfere with them; I’ve got really close to them (individuals and nests) without annoying them (move slowly is the key).  So as long as the hornets have nothing the wasps want, or the wasps don’t mess with the hornets, I expect there’s no reason for them not to coexist quite happily.

All images by WSM.