Hornet nest - European Hornet life cycle and behaviour

The European Hornet (Vespa Crabro)
is much bigger than the common or German wasp.

Queen hornet

Although considered much more aggressive than the common or German wasp, in our experience this is not the case. They only tend to become aggressive when defending their nests. But care should be taken when in close proximity to Hornets as their sting is especially powerful, but a Hornet nest is easily treatable.

The Hornet nest starts life in the spring by a queen, the location of the nest varies but most times will be located in a place that is dry and undisturbed, loft spaces are particularly good places for a Hornets.

Hornet nest - European Hornet lifecycle

The nest is constructed from chewed wood and turned into a strong Paper Mache type material that is both strong and light.

We charge a flat fee of £40.00 to treat a Wasp or Hornet nest regardless of its location.
We have no hidden extra charges such as VAT or for unnecessary surveys.
Any secondary nests found on your property we charge an additional £10.00 per nest if treated on the day of the original call out.
All work is guaranteed.
Payment required on completion of work.
We work WEEKENDS too! So if you have found a nest whilst out in your garden and it is a Saturday or Sunday, don't worry, just give us a call and we will come straight out.

Please be sure you have identified the species before calling us. If you are unsure, please text us a clear photo and we will be happy to help identify. Or call us and we will talk it over with you.

Please do not call us out for bees, we do NOT treat any bee species.

Please be aware, if we are called out for bees there will be a call out fee.

Video of a queen Hornet starting to build a nest.

We are pleased to be able bring you a video showing a queen Hornet starting her nest.

The nest is very early in development.

The nest begins with up to 50 cells that are arranged in horizontal layers called combs.

New Hornet nest just being started

After the eggs are laid it takes between 5-8 days before they hatch when the larvae undergo five stages over the next two weeks. During this period the queen Hornet feeds the larvae protein rich food that consists of insects. After this period the larvae spins a silk cap over its cell opening and over the next two weeks its transforms into an adult Hornet worker.

In the following photo, you can see one of the larvae has spun its silk cap. If you look closely you can see the other larvae in their combs.
Hornet larvae going through the development into adult Hornets

Once the newly formed adults have hatched they take over the tasks that the queen was carrying out, such as nest building, foraging for food and brood care. They only task that the worker Hornets don’t carry out is egg laying which is a task reserved only for the queen.

As the numbers of Hornets expand in a nest, the nest itself has to grow in size to accommodate the colony; new combs are added to the nest at the same time.

In late summer the queen starts to produce reproductive females and males. The male Hornets do not take part in nest building or maintenance, foraging for food or any of the normal duties that the worker Hornets undertake.
In autumn these males and females (new queens) leave the nest to mate, the males then die off and the fertilized new queens then hibernate over winter, emerging in spring to start the whole process off again building their own brand new nest.

The hornet is the only wasp which flies in the dark, they are nocturnal as well as day time hunters. Very often the first sign of a nest close by is when you hear large insects hitting against your windows at night time. They can also congregate around outside lighting just as moths do. If you notice such activity, you have a nest very close by.