Hornet Facts

Hornet Facts
Hornet is a type of predatory wasp. There are more than 20 species of hornets that can be found in Europe, Africa, Asia and North America. Hornet inhabits forests and rural areas. Number of hornets in the wild is large and stable. These insects are classified as pests in most parts of the world because of their ability to eliminate honeybees from the native habitats and destroy commercially important types of fruit.
Interesting Hornet Facts:
Largest species of hornets is Asian giant hornet that can reach 2 inches in length.
Most species of hornets can be recognized by striped, black- and white-colored body.
Hornet has 2 pairs of wings, C-shaped eyes and long antennas on the head.
Hornet can be active both during the night and day.
Hornets eat tree sap, fruit and various insects. Bees are their favorite type of food.
Scouts (individual hornets) search beehives. They produce chemical substances called pheromones to inform other members of the colony when they identify their target.
Japanese honeybees developed strategy to fight against hornets. They lure scout into the beehive and gather around it. Mass of honeybees increases the temperature and releases carbon dioxide that combined with heat easily kills hornet.
Hornets attack humans in self-defense. Painful sting may end up fatally when person is allergic to the venom. Each hornet can sting couple of times.
Hornets live in organized society composed of queen, numerous workers and few males.
Hornets build nest on the branches, inside the trees, attics, barns or under the roofs.
Nest is made of chewed wood mixed with saliva (it has papery texture). Football-shaped nest is filled with rows of combs and numerous chambers where queen lays eggs.
Each colony lasts only one season. Queens hatched at the end of the summer leave the nest and mate with males from other colonies. They store the sperm inside the body during the winter and use it for the fertilization of eggs at the beginning of the spring.
Queen starts to build nest and lay eggs in the spring. Larvae emerge from eggs after 5 to 8 days. Queen feeds them with partially chewed bees and saliva and continues construction of the nest. During a period of two weeks, larvae undergo 5 developmental stages and transform into workers. After creation of the first generation of workers, queen focuses on the laying of eggs. Workers are responsible for the building of the new cells, feeding the larvae and protection of the colony from intruders.
At the end of her life, queen lays mass of fertilized eggs that transform into new generation of queens and mass of unfertilized eggs that transform into drones (donors of sperm).
Drones die soon after fertilization. Workers live from spring to summer. Queen completes its life cycle in one year.

Related Links:
Animal Facts
Animals Facts
Asian giant hornet Facts