Saturday, 12 January 2013

A hornets' nest


I found this on the path the other day - part of a hornets' nest blown down in the wind from its evil empire under the roof tiles. This piece is a good four to five inches wide which gives you an idea of the scale of the beasts who called it home, those enormous frelons that hover around menacingly in the dog days of August.

They gather for battle orders around the outside light at the top of the alleyway between the buildings and make a sound like the rumble of military cargo planes lining up on a runway. You really don't want to get stung by one, either.

But with the turn of the seasons and the first icy temperatures in Provence, their time in the sun is over. Rather satisfying to see the source of the trouble close up knowing it's harmless now. What on earth we can try next year to control them and all the other hedonistic species of wasp determined to have the swimming pool is still unresolved.
  

7 comments:

Harvee Lau said...

Yikes!! I bet they hibernate over winter. Time for the exterminator?

Yvonne Osborne said...

I'm very familiar with this. Hornets build their honeycomb homes around the eave troughs and under the overhang on my porch and inside the downspouts and up in the peak of the roof where it is impossible to get at them without a fire truck! I even found one in a gourd I was trying to hollow out and turn into a flowerpot. I like your description of their evil empire.

Maureen said...

Despite their menacing existence (and knowing how destructive they can be), their ability to create a structure like this that can stay intact when it's removed from its location leaves me in awe.

Michel said...

Hard to discourage their return that is for sure. We have done it by hosing the nest as they start to build and finally after multiple years didn't return one spring to our house here in Northern California.

Marcheline said...

They make these super-compressed hornet sprays you can buy at the store - they come in large cans. When you see the nest beginning to take shape, stand way back and aim the spray at it. Something they put in the spray discourages the hornets from continuing the project, and they go elsewhere. Not so sure this would work on a fully formed and completed nest, but if you know where they usually go you can keep an eye out for the beginnings.

Cozy in Texas said...

I found one of these stuck on a branch of one of my bushes. A beautiful work of art.
Ann

Vanessa said...

They are works of art. We had a huge one in our attic, where they had been building it undisturbed for months. We had to get a specialist to fumigate it. The nest itself was enormous and carefully constructed with separate floors and galleries. It was almost a shame to destroy it. But I draw the line at hornets in the house!

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