The colony is based by a single queen that survives the tough winter beneath the bark of a fallen log or in an identical protected location. In spring when hotter temperatures return she turns into energetic, gathering bark from timber, developing a small paper nest, and laying eggs destined to change into staff. After the queen efficiently raises her first batch of sterile feminine staff, she stays within the nest producing brood whereas her daughters take up the duties of enlarging the nest, defending it, and gathering meals for the younger. Caterpillars, flies, cicadas, grasshoppers and different stinging bugs like yellowjackets are all on the menu. European hornets are considerably distinctive from different clan members reminiscent of yellowjackets and baldfaced hornets of their foraging behaviors. European hornets hunt at evening. They’re additionally interested in mild and might be discovered buzzing round porch lights or heard crashing into windowpanes after darkish. A number of occasions this previous month whereas studying in mattress, European hornets had been the “issues that go bump within the evening” at my bed room home windows.
Along with consuming different bugs, in late summer time and early autumn European hornets readily dine on fallen fruit and sap fluxes on tree bark. They have interaction in a considerably uncommon habits of feeding on plant tissues beneath the bark of timber and shrubs. A go to to certainly one of my neighbor’s lilacs revealed mischievous European hornets stripping bark and greedily lapping exudates leaking from the wound. This annoying habits has been noticed on many varieties of timber and shrubs together with lilac, rhododendron, ash, and birch. Sadly, small timber and shrubs might be severely broken by this habits. Many stinging bugs feast on the candy bounty of fallen fruit beneath timber. To cut back probabilities of a sting by a European hornet, yellowjacket, or wasp, don protecting gloves and punctiliously decide up fallen fruit and compost it if it poses a threat. Put on footwear quite than going barefoot if you stroll close to fruit timber.