Nest of hornets (Lode)

I was lucky enough to find a hornets nest and got a couple of great shots, it started out as a disappointing insect foray due to the cold damp weather but finished in a high  when I found the nest.

The hornet’s life cycle is similar to that of the common wasp. Newly-mated queens hibernate during the winter, and emerge in spring to begin building a nest. They lay eggs that hatch into sterile female workers who take over nest building and collecting food for the developing larvae. Later in the summer males and fertile females hatch. These mate and the females become next year’s queens. The males, old queen and workers die in the autumn.

Hornets have an unwarranted fearsome reputation, but will only sting humans if attacked.

What does it eat?
Both adults and larvae eat mainly insects. Adults may also take spiders and queens may supplement their diet with tree sap and windfall fruit. They also stock up on nectar before hibernating.

When will I see it?
From May to September.RSPB