Hornet Nest

It turns out that these hornets (Pugnacious bastardus) do not like people to part the shrubbery in order to take pictures of their home.

As I snapped this picture, I could hear the fury building inside the nest and I made my hasty retreat. Not hasty enuf, alas. One of them stung me on the back, just where I couldn’t reach. I swatted ferociously with my hat (yet another reason to wear one in the woods), and let loose a whoop, but by then the damage was done, and the sweat that soaked my shirt only made the sting worse.

These hornets have fallen in life. Literally. You can see that the branch where they had attached their nest has broken from the tree. I don’t think they liked the idea of their nest close to the ground like this. Perhaps that’s why they were so quick to take offense at my presence.

Yes, they play a part in the forest ecology. Yes, I am tolerant of living creatures. Yes, that whole circle of life thing.

But I was just taking a picture. Sheesh!

9 Responses to “Hornet Nest”

  1. Ontario Wanderer Says:

    Misery loves company. Too bad you had to join the group that has been stung this summer. At least these hornets have a nest that one can see and don’t live in the ground. The ground yellow jackets got me but I have given the paper hornets lots of space. By the way, they are on a small tree in a more pasture like setting on our property and only about 60 cm (2 feet) off the ground. I am hoping our dog does not bump into it when out running. Yes, I estimated the distance. I have no desire to look closer until after freeze up when the hornets all die.

  2. Wayne Says:

    With all the miles of trudging around on very nearly every square foot of our property in the last few weeks I’m really surprised I haven’t run into a yellow-jacket nest. As for hornets, well, I am so focussed on the ground that my head could easily contact a nest without my knowing it until it was too late.

    I almost hate writing this lest it come back on me today.

  3. Floridacracker Says:

    Hornets…hmmmm. I never mess with ’em. Are you going to come back in the winter and collect that empty nest?

  4. dread pirate roberts Says:

    we have paper wasps in our greenhouse. they have never bothered me and i suspected that they prey on other insects. a small bit of research confirms that.

    i did not know that the latin name so accurately desribed the kind you have.

  5. Linda Says:

    The hornets love mailboxes. Sometimes I don’t think the customers even know they are there because they seem to understand their little box will be intruded upon twice a day. I have been stung only once this year.

  6. Larry Ayers Says:

    Once I unknowingly walked right under a hornet’s nest hanging from a cedar branch. A guard hornet dived straight down and stung me on the top of my shoulder. I fell to my knees. It felt like someone hit me with a sledgehammer!

    I lost my temper and threw a couple of rocks at the nest, but cooled down after a bit and resolved to be more observant and look up more often!

  7. kathryn Says:

    I have just observed a HUGE hornets nest in a grapefruit tree growing in my yard. I am doing research on the hornets in hopes of salvaging the nest once they are gone. It is such a beautiful piece of nature’s art.


  8. kathryn Says:

    Oh, by the way I live in Georgia.

  9. Roundrock Journal » Blog Archive » Tip to toe Says:

    […] This is also the area where a hornet’s nest had come down. That was at the same time, and the hornets are long gone, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they could take down a deer. […]

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