A Giant Buzzing Force in the Community


by Fred Schueler

Photo: European Hornet (Vespa crabro) queen on the screen door of the Schuelers’ house, Bishops Mills, 22 May 2021 by Aleta Karstad

This spring we’ve had two European Hornets (Vespa crabro) that have somehow gotten into our living room, and have had to be let out the door. We’ve also had six, “It was bigger than any wasp I have ever seen!” e-mails from people from Osgoode to Prescott who have found my address from last year’s article on this astonishing species – Fred Schueler & Aleta Karstad, European Hornets in North Grenville. North Grenville Times, 3 June 2020 – https://ngtimes.ca/european-hornets-in-north-grenville/ – and have reported their observations of over-wintered queens looking for sites to establish colonies.

These are a species which has been in North America since the 19th Century, and as far as I’ve heard or experienced, they’re pretty peaceful, especially when compared to the native, and especially the introduced “picnic wasp” (Vespula germanica), Yellowjackets. They nest in above-ground cavities of various kinds, so their nests aren’t liable to be bumped into or stepped on, as those of open- or ground-nesting wasps are. I’m still interested in receiving reports on their occurrence. <[email protected]> Fragile Inheritance Natural History



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