[NAFEX] Bald-faced hornet nests/hornet-boxes

hans brinkmann hans-brinkmann at t-online.de
Sun Aug 3 06:22:23 EDT 2008

Hallo Jerry,

thank you very much!

there is a very interesting link of a Hornet-homepage:     

The German version has additional information.
The English version is very interesting and has also American links for 
Bald-faced hornets and Cicada Killers:  

And constructing proposals for hornet-boxes. At Germany we use 25 x 25 x 
60 cm height, but at USA you may increase the size,
because most things are bigger/larger at USA. One long entry slot seems 
to be better than two.
Some nests are much bigger, but for the average it is ok.  Occupied 
boxes are easy to shift -  one meter per day or  more than 2km in once.
Put the box 4m high, but my own experience says 2m are also ok - if you 
like to watch.

Hornets are the most tame/friendly from the wasp family. A average bee 
colony is less tame.
And they are most hungry!!!  *A good hornet colony is eating some 1000 
insects per day (flies, caterpillars...) !!!
*Also they eat many other wasps. The damage with bee colonies is not 
This is one reason also bee-keepers do protect/keep hornets too.

Many years ago I installed a nesting box for owls in the size of a 
dog-house for medium dogs - under my house roof.
The first year I have had already a beautiful owl family. But 
additionally in the same box a hornet colony. I left it and finally the 
hornet nest was almost touching the young owls... All owls became 
adult!!! Probably this extreme happened because the hornets and the owls 
became used to each other - very slowly.

I can work easily very close to hornet nests, but I need some more 
distance to wasp nests.

One guy at the homepage is a surgeon who has had a hornet colony inside 
his living room - where he was sitting with his family or visitors.
The hornets have not been separated with a net, but they flew together 
with the visitors...

Giant wasp nest photo by: webmaster at landcare.cri.nz
This happened only at New Zealand with introduced wasps and WITHOUT winters!


Jwlehman at aol.com schrieb:
> *I consider the bald faced hornets my friends.* On several occasions I 
> observed them taking small horse flies from off my cattle's 
> undersides, eating off their heads then flying off with the body. What 
> called my attention to that act was seeing Bald Faced Hornets flying 
> around under the cattle. I asked myself, Why? So I watched and then 
> made the above observation and after that saw it many times.
> Once while looking out the kitchen window one landed on the glass pain 
> and I watched him from mere inches away eat off the head then fly away 
> with the body. Have seen no indication they take the bodies into the 
> nest. They land on fence posts and scrape off cellulose fiber I assume 
> to use in making their nests. If one looks at the nest shell one will 
> see the different colors due to different wood fibers.
> Had one nest hanging 5 feet off the ground in an apple tree in the 
> front yard. I spent a lot of time watching the nest activity from 
> maybe 5 feet away. Very interesting. Once when I got too close, maybe 
> 2 feet one gave me a warning by brushing against my cheek. So I backed 
> up a few feet and continued to watch. Never was stung by one. They 
> seem to me to be very docile 
> In this area the weather lore is: The higher the nests, the deeper the 
> snow the coming winter.
> There is nothing to it. First, the hornets don't winter over in the 
> nests. Second, I've seen very high and very low nests the same summer 
> and not far apart.
> Jerry
> Indiana, 5b
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