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grizzly 

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I was clearing my new site of bramble, branches and old cattle feeders yesterday with the help of my old fella, this one even comes with a penthouse, (no more dust and having to store my gear in the open). Woohoo !!!

As we took a break from hacking, a very large Hornet came out of the ground, i can only assume her to be the queen as no others followed, she flew around for a while circling, going away and coming back, firstly i didnt realise they nested underground ? and my question being, what is the likelyhood that she has laid eggs ?

Couple of pics. no hornet in them though.
 

Foxylad 

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Pick?

Did you manage to get a pick of the wasp? Sounds like a wood wasp, they have a very large distinctive stinger. Used for laying there eggs on grubs under bark in trees.
 

MJBee 

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Hi Grizzly, When the queen hornet emerges from hibernation she builds a small nest (2" diam) containing about a dozen cells she lays them up and feeds the larvae. When this first batch of workers emerge she moves to a more suitable site and they start all build the main nest which can be huge.

If your hornet keeps coming back to the same spot she will have her initial nest there there - zap her then carefully dig for the nest.

A queen killed now means up to 2000 less hornets in Aug/Sept.

Thus far my apprentice and I have caught 8 queen asian hornets:hurray:
:cheers2: Mike
 

merylvingien 

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When this first batch of workers emerge she moves to a more suitable site and they start all build the main nest which can be huge.
Where on earth did you hear that crap? :D

Hornets, like common or german wasps, start the nest as you say, but they dont move house, they add more layers as the nest grows.
 

victor meldrew 

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Hi Grizzly, When the queen hornet emerges from hibernation she builds a small nest (2" diam) containing about a dozen cells she lays them up and feeds the larvae. When this first batch of workers emerge she moves to a more suitable site and they start all build the main nest which can be huge.

If your hornet keeps coming back to the same spot she will have her initial nest there there - zap her then carefully dig for the nest.

A queen killed now means up to 2000 less hornets in Aug/Sept.

Thus far my apprentice and I have caught 8 queen asian hornets:hurray:
:cheers2: Mike

http://www.keele.ac.uk/university/nathist/articles/wasps.htm

Vic
 

MJBee 

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You don't mince your words Merylvingien.

That cr*p came from the Technical bulletin on the Asian Hornet Vespa velutina nigrithorax issued by the Union National Apiculture France. This was based on research done by CNDA and OPIDA ( please do not ask me who they are)

They reached our area last year and so far this year I have found one nest, about the size of a golf ball with 10 cells and 5 eggs under the eaves of a single storey barn - Queen identified and zapped, nest destroyed - The Main nests, the really big ones 50cm+ in diameter and over 1 metre deep are ALWAYS in trees and have NEVER been found lower the 20 metres - the one found last year was 27 metres up in an oak tree and completely invisible until the leaves dropped.

The European hornet also can make more than one nest BUT as you say if the queen finds a site suitable for a permanent nest she will stay put and the nest just gets bigger and bigger - last year 2 in disused attic space and 1 in a disused chimney.

Grizzly's hornet was either emerging from underground hibernation - unlikely cos it's a bit late - or has a small nest underground which has no chance of growing to normal size so she will move once she has enough workers to look after her. Regards Mike
 

grizzly 

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Thats a nice looking site Grizzly, with a built in store...result.
Yes i am hoping so, its taken 3 years to get one that ticks lots of boxes, after this last winter and the thickening tree canopy over the existing apiary i wanted to get the hives into a spot with sun from early morning right through the day, my initial spot darkens year on year and is quite damp.

Will see how the bees get on here, and yes its a novelty for me to be able to store my equipment so looking forward to that aspect.

Oh and Thanks for the Hornet info Mike, its good to know she is unlikely to be a permanent resident.
 

MJBee 

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Don't count on it Grizzly, if she likes the availability of food ie your bees she will probably be back no matter where the big nest is made.

Merylvingien - no offence taken - I'm as thick skinned as they come:)
 

grizzly 

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Well i got her this morning, i also tried to follow the underground tunnel, i uncovered about 3 feet by 3 feet, didnt see any eggs or larva anywhere, it is possible it keeps going still, should i have kept digging ?

It looks a mess but was quite an intricate number of tunnels, probably an old unused rodent nest.

The noise of a Hornet flying still makes my hair stand on end.
 

Midland Beek 

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If your hornet keeps coming back to the same spot she will have her initial nest there there - zap her then carefully dig for the nest.

A queen killed now means up to 2000 less hornets in Aug/Sept.

Thus far my apprentice and I have caught 8 queen asian hornets:hurray:
:cheers2: Mike
Caught eight queen Asian hornets?

Are you sure they were not native European hornets?

I am a beekeeper. By default I have an interest in social insects. I do not really identify with beekeepers who are keen on killing other insects.

I would feel quite honoured if a queen hornet set up home in my apiary.
 

grizzly 

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Do I detect scorch marks in that second photo??!

Scorch Marks ...... :leaving:


Originally Posted by Midland Beek
I would feel quite honoured if a queen hornet set up home in my apiary.

I can understand where you are coming from, but having lost a hive before to predation, a queen hornet really isnt something you want to encourage let alone leave in an apiary of all places.
 

MJBee 

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Caught eight queen Asian hornets?

Are you sure they were not native European hornets?

I am a beekeeper. By default I have an interest in social insects. I do not really identify with beekeepers who are keen on killing other insects.

I would feel quite honoured if a queen hornet set up home in my apiary.
Hi MB,
There is a huge difference between the European and Asian hornet. The European will catch and kill honey bees once it locates a source (hive) but it hunts on its own, the Asian on the other hand finds a hive pheremone marks it and comes back mob handed, if they do not manage to gain entry they so disrupt the colony that all foraging ceases and the bees often leave. If they do gain entry they kill ALL the bees and take all the larvae.

Apart from the colour difference between the two the main difference is the noise they make in flight. As Grizzly said the European sounds like a Lancaster bomber but the Asian is TOTALLY SILENT.

We had hoped that the long severe winter we have just had may have killed them off but it appears that they can hibernate well and just emerge later.
Since 2005 they have spread from the port of Bordeaux to more than 34 Departments (Counties) and were found in Paris last year. The channel may be a bit of a barrier but the general concensus is that they have spread so quickly by hitching a ride on road/rail traffic. So Kentish beeks keep em peeled.

ps my avater is an Asian Hornet:smash:
 

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