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Bald Face Hornet

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Bald Face Hornet

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-Known as the white faced or bald-faced hornet.

-Actually, a large wasp is widespread in 46 of the United States

-Nests are found in trees or shrubs, and sometimes on buildings. Often 12-inches or more in diameter. They become very large by the end of the summer

-Very aggressive and will attack without being provoked

-Social wasp related to Yellow Jacket and Paper wasp

-Lives in colonies similar to Honey bees and ants

-Nest construction is a paper-like material made from chewed wood fibers mixed with saliva. Has several tiers of comb and a thick, multilayered outer shell. A single opening at the bottom allows the hornets to fly in and out

-Lifecycle consists of 4 stages, egg, larva, pupa, and adult

-Are beneficial predators that feed on other insects particularly flies

-Colony lives for one season (1-year). Each nest is built from scratch each year and the previous nest cannot be reused

-At first, colony growth is slow but increases rapidly by the end of the summer when successive broods of workers emerge. Peak population of workers can run 800 to 1000 by the end of the summer

-Queens are the only member to survive the winter. In early spring, she chooses a new location and begins to raise sterile daughter offspring. The workers take over the duty of next clean-up, food foraging and caring for offspring while the queen’s primary function is to produce more eggs

-In fall, the males and new queens (that are produced by the mother queen of that past year's nest) mate and the fertile queens hibernate until the next spring. The old queen, workers, and males die due to old age or freezing temperatures. A mother queen may produce 40 to 50 or more daughter queens. Each new queen will, if she survives the winter, create a new nest in the spring