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Monday, 2 October 2017

Two drunken Giant hornets, Vespa crabro, in my Sussex garden

 There were two European hornets, Vespa crabro, also know as Giant hornets in my garden today, feasting on an Egremont russet apple.
Considered less aggressive than many more frequently encountered wasp species. they generally only sting in defence of their nest or when something picks them up.
Like other smaller wasps, hornet nest lasts only a year: young queens hibernate and survive the winter. Drones die after mating and the workers and the old queen die off in late autumn.

 These could be young queens fattening up on sweet apples to survive the winter in hibernation.
 I imagine that the apple is fermenting as they both fell off clumsily and fell to the ground.  They were unable to fly for a minute or two: they tried but fell, drunken-like back to the grass.
They were big.  Look at them in relation to my fingers.
Hornets prey on other insects for their protein.  Although at this time of year they seem to enjoy sugary fruit more.  They damage apples and pears in my garden but the damage is restricted to just a few fruits.
Click on any picture to enlarge it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow I would be dead scared if these guys visited my garden.

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