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Vespa Crabro - European Hornets


Harry

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Posted
  • Location: Bexley (home), C London (work)
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms
  • Location: Bexley (home), C London (work)

Hi all

Thought I'd put this in a different thread to the Wasps discussion, as they are not the same things (and I am being slightly pedantic, lol)

I've been seeing these now over the past 5 or 6 years or so in the SE, and was wondering if they are widely seen in other parts of the UK? I only first noticed them towards the end of secondary school, where one particular bush attracted them on a regular basis.

The hornets themselves are very distinctly coloured - i.e if you see one, you wont be in any doubt as to whether its a bee, wasp...it is very much it's own thing (see attached images). In total, they are probably 1 & 1/2 to maybe twice the size of normal wasps, and buzz very loudly!!

From my observations, they are nowhere near as numerous as our favourite common wasps/yellowjackets, and by all accounts nowhere near as aggressive (so if you see one, please don't kill it!)...in fact I have read they are actually very shy - I've read that they will actively try and escape you than try and sting you.

One very common thing I have read though, is that their stings are exceptionally painful, far more so than our common wasps. Much like a bee, if you try and swat at it, or disturb a nest, they will turn aggressive!!

I'm curious to know how far across the Uk they have migrated (they are from the continent) and whether anyone has had a run in with them before?

post-3790-12501933848794_thumb.jpg

post-3790-1250193396395_thumb.jpg

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Posted
  • Location: Solihull, West Midlands. UK
  • Location: Solihull, West Midlands. UK

Haven't seen any up this far North, Harry, and to be quiet honest with you, I really don't think that I want to.

I have enough problems with the ordinary UK wasp. Only on Tuesday this week, it was a lovely and warm day up here (24ºc) so thought I'd sit outside on the sun lounger with a cool glass of sweet cider and a copy of the days newspaper. Then some rogue wasp came buzzing round my head has decided to either drink my alcoholic beverage or read my newspaper. Either way the newspaper came in handy for swatting it for six.

(You should have been watching you English cricketers! A lesson in batting for The Oval next Friday!)

I'd never harm a Bee. They are in enough danger as it is with certain issues. (Pesticides being the main reason I think!)

Three years ago, one bit fat one landed right in front of me, I stroked it gently. I took the risk of being stung but it didn't even seem bothered, a couple of minutes later, it flew off.

I wouldn't do that with a wasp. I'd stroke it with a heavy shovel maybe. (I just hate them. Must be a throwback to my being stung by one when I was eight years old. Then there was a picnic we had, again as a kid in Cannock Chase one hot Summer day. Hundreds of the things flying around and just would not leave us alone).

Phil.

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Posted
  • Location: Kingdom of Fife: 56.2º N, 3.2º W
  • Location: Kingdom of Fife: 56.2º N, 3.2º W

Well I've searched the web and I can't find any referece to hornets being found in Scotland - so here goes! :D

Last weekend at Mennoch Pass, Dumfriesshire (near the White Cross Bridge beside Glenclach Burn) I was surprised to find one of these gentle beasties basking on a rock in the heather. Unfortunately I didn't have a camera but several other folk saw it as well so it wasn't my imagination.

Either they are getting hardier or the winters are warming up 'because the Mennoch is close to Wanlochhead, the UK's higest village at 1500ft!

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Posted
  • Location: Coalpit Heath, South Gloucestershire
  • Location: Coalpit Heath, South Gloucestershire

Hi all

One very common thing I have read though, is that their stings are exceptionally painful, far more so than our common wasps. Much like a bee, if you try and swat at it, or disturb a nest, they will turn aggressive!!

I'm curious to know how far across the Uk they have migrated (they are from the continent) and whether anyone has had a run in with them before?

I was stung on the throat by a hornet in the mid 1970s, whilst riding a motor bike, in Bristol. It was very painful, much worse than any other insect sting I have ever had, before or since. I have never forgotten it and regale people with the story every now and then!

NB That's quite funny....I was on a motor bike and the hornet is a Vespa! Yes, yes, I know a Vespa is a scooter and my motor bike was a Honda, but I thought it was funny........... :good:

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Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

I was stung on the throat by a hornet in the mid 1970s, whilst riding a motor bike, in Bristol. It was very painful, much worse than any other insect sting I have ever had, before or since. I have never forgotten it and regale people with the story every now and then!

NB That's quite funny....I was on a motor bike and the hornet is a Vespa! Yes, yes, I know a Vespa is a scooter and my motor bike was a Honda, but I thought it was funny........... :good:

You might even call it a Superdream?

Oh, never mind. My coat's at the ready! :good:

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Posted
  • Location: South Kyme, Lincolnshire
  • Location: South Kyme, Lincolnshire

Good morning all

I saw this thread and thought id drop you a line, OK as you all know i live in lincolnshire and i used to work for a family that lives near Grimsby as the maintenance guy, One of my jobs is to look after the extensive grounds. In the garden to the right of the house stands a Large childs Playhouse, One day while strimming around it id thought id be nosey and peek throught the windows only to find lots of what i thought were huge over sized wasps, after looking at those images i can now say with some certainty they were Hornets, at some time there must have been a nest in there or they were in the process of making one but for some unknown reason they died leaving the bodies of more than two dozen or more.

They were quite huge things and i shudder to think that if any child had been playing in there at the time may not have come out alive. The playhouse luckily as long since been used which given the facts of the insect description may have been a good thing.

LO

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Posted
  • Location: Norton, Stockton-on-Tees
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and cold in winter, warm and sunny in summer
  • Location: Norton, Stockton-on-Tees

Imagine having this monster fly in through your window!!!

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It's giving me the heebie jeebies just thinking about it!! Apparently it's a giant Asian hornet - 2.2 inches of terror with a sting that apparently feels like "having a red hot nail hammered into you!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asian_giant_hornet

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