At the starts of Springs, hibernating insect return to Our terraces, home and gardens.
Among, them are wasps, bumblebees, European and Asian hornets.
This category of flying insects of the family Vespidae often causes fear in many people.
Today, we are going to focus on the most "impressive" of all: the hornet.
In this article, we have found the 7 least known facts about hornets, so that you can show off to your friends just before you run away when you see one.
1) They are in fact "only" wasps.
It has not escaped you, the wasp and the hornet have many physical similarities. They are part of the same family (vespidae) and the hornet is actually a sub-family of wasps living in very well organized colonies.
The biggest difference between these two categories is size and color: a hornet is much larger (up to 35 mm) than a wasp, but it is much less aggressive than the latter. If the hornet feels threatened or its nest is threatened, it will attack. On the other hand, the wasp is not a passive insect
2) They are not as aggressive as we think
The general belief is that hornets are aggressive and will attack without reason. This is not true.
Most of the time, they are aggressive only when they feel in danger or when their nest is threatened.
The rest of the time, it is a rather "fearful" insect that does not seek confrontation, at least with humans.
3) Their nests are sometimes in the ground
Hornet nests are not always found in high places as you might think.
They are generally found in high places such as attics, roofs, garages, tree tops, etc., but hornets sometimes nest in old abandoned rodent burrows.
This way of nesting is very widespread especially in the countryside or the fields. Beware if you venture there or if you want to mow the lawn...
4) They need protein
For their development, young hornets feed on proteins like humans. So the adults will look for food full of proteins such as insects (like bees).
They feed on these dishes, as well as others like the sugar of the fruits which they are fond of.
For the small anecdote, the hornet being full of good proteins, it delights the palate of many people...
In Japan, the hornet is a very popular food. Indeed, this people eat them fried or even raw and love it.
5) 40 bees per minute killed
Hornets feed on three things: sugar, sap and protein (see previous point).
Their favorite prey are unfortunately bees. In a single minute, a single hornet is capable of eliminating 40 of them, which is really enormous. It is a plague and the bees have very few defenses to escape alive.
The only way out for the colony is to make sure the scout hornet doesn't have time to warn others of the bee nest.
6) Their venom is very poisonous
Apart from the fear of its size and of being stung, it is important to remember that its venom is really very poisonous for living beings.
Only a few species are predators of hornets, because it is difficult to eat or kill them without being stung.
For humans at least, the sting causes intense pain, which can range from swelling of the affected area (neck, face for example), to temporary paralysis, or even anaphylactic shock.
7) It is both useful for the environment and harmful
Its role in the ecosystem is quite obvious. As flying insects and feeding on sugar, it is a pollinator.
Thanks to him, plants reproduce and nature follows its course.
Being a great predator, this species also helps in the fight against certain parasites such as fleas and aphids that destroy plants.
Unfortunately, if this was all this species had to do, it would be fine. The problem is that hornets destroy orchards, crops and also bees (see previous point).
Everyone knows the indispensable role of bees on our planet, it would be a shame if they were savagely exterminated...
Now you know a little more about one of the many pests that will punctuate your swimming pool afternoons or your barbecue evenings with friends.
What you need to remember about this one is that as long as you don't approach its nest and you don't threaten it, it won't do anything to you (unlike its cousin the wasp, the hornet won't look for you).
However, if you find a hornet's nest, contact a professional immediately,
DO NOT TAKE CARE OF IT ALONE, IT COULD BE DANGEROUS.