Arghh! Hornets.

Sunrise: 06.13 Sunset: 08.06

I’ve tried to photograph these hornets four times through my 60 mm macro lens, each time I have been attacked. They are building a nest in two woodpecker holes in an oak tree. It was dark, so I illuminated the tree with my head torch. At night, the hornets pack themselves very tightly in the nest. When they attack, they stream out in an extended line. I defy anyone to stay put when facing a stream of angry hornets. I had planned to wear netting tonight , but I forgot to take one. Even with netting, I am not sure I could hold my ground.

Perhaps I will have another go at photographing them tomorrow night.


Hornet Door Guard.


Three Hornets Investigators.


Guard Hornet Calling For Back Up.


Hornets Packed In The Lower Hole.

17 Comments on “Arghh! Hornets.

  1. Great shots! Once, when I kept bees… and offered to relocate a hornet nest from someone’s backyard (while wearing beekeeping gear with hat and netting)… I got stung multiple times! They were so small that they managed to get through the beekeeping netting and hat; they stung me all over the face. I couldn’t even hit them or brush them off! 🙂 The hat and netting prevented me from doing so! Even when others watered me with a large garden hose… they kept coming at me in droves… leaving the people spraying alone. They were small, but their sting was vicious! Be careful! 😉

  2. One hornet scares the hell out of me, a whole nest…
    Brave attempt and you were awarded with great photos.

  3. Great shots and you are very brave. I wont do wasp shots with 60mm, doubly so as I normally have an extension tube on. I draw the line totally at hornets, I would have to borrow my partners 100mm maybe. After I have finished running and screaming. I am afraid we are at war with wasps there is a hidden nest somewhere in the house (maybe) and we have to kill at least 3 a day. The Bee’s are much more behaved and we let them be. Though they did give me some warning dives when I was up a ladder filling in some holes. Hornets just look angry and scary to me.

    One question if your on 60mm then are these 1:1 or 1:2 because they look huge. Like 3 times the size of a wasp. I kind of thought they were only a little bigger.

    • The hornets in my post are vesta crabro, which are generally not aggressive. They rarely sting unless they are attacked, or if the hornets think they are being attacked.

  4. Thanks Mike. Delighted to have found your fascinating blog. Lots to explore. Regards from Thom at the immortal jukebox.

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