European Hornets

12 September 2018 | Posted in James Duncan , Insects
European Hornets
© Bob Foreman

By James Duncan

Woods Mill Engagement Officer

There's little doubt that the European hornet, Vespa crabro, is a rather fearsome looking insect. But this ferocious exterior betrays a species that is in fact rarely aggressive. Unlike their infamous relatives, hornets are unlikely to disrupt your picnic. Their sheer size - between 2-3 cm's for workers and males, 3-4 cm's for queens - and riotous buzz can however make them an intimidating proposition. They're our largest and most impressive eusocial wasp species, displaying the very highest level of organisation of animal sociality and frequently more than doubling the size of our more familiar common wasp, Vespular vulgaris. Both belong to the order Hymenoptera, comprising bees, wasps, ants and sawflies. Woods Mill currently resounds to the frantic commotion of hornets - particularly at night. This is where they differ from other members of the wasp family, Vespidae. Hornets are attracted to light. This behavioural trait can leave them viewed with no small amount of trepidation. On warm autumn evenings there's little doubt they'll pay a visit if their nest is placed in close proximity to a well-lit dwelling. Many a recent Woods Mill moth trap has been plagued by them. 

Hornets can of course potentially pack a punch. They harness a sting typical of their family group, though it's non-barbed and won't be pulled from the hornets body, unlike that of a honey bee. It's used predominantly in defence of the hive. The sting doesn't contain high levels of toxic species-specific compounds that tend to be wielded by invasive Asian hornets, and it's toxicity is on average lower than that of the honey bee, Apis mellifera. It is of course worth noting that stings can still trigger allergic reactions, and those susceptible to wasp venom will likely suffer the same from hornets. But the simple fact is that the European hornet is a docile creature, avoiding conflict and rarely displaying any form of aggression unless the nest is approached or the colony is threatened. It suffers from an undeserved reputation.

The hornet queens are the sole colony survivors of a UK winter and they emerge as the weather finally starts to warm in early spring. They waste little time searching for a suitable location for their paper-pulp nest, mixing saliva with chewed plant fibres to create a hardy cement. Though the hornets display an avid attraction to light, the nest site will be quite the opposite, most likely built in a darkened tree hollow or sheltered cavity, usually two metres or so above the ground. Queens lay eggs into individual paper cells which then hatch as infertile workers. Whilst these tend the nest the queen settles into life as an egg-laying machine. The nest expands throughout the summer with new queens and males emerging in early autumn, keen to mate after a 'nuptial' flight. Life is short for the males who quickly die off, followed a short time later by the original queen and workers. The newly mated queens will then search for a hibernation site, never returning to the original nest.  

© Neil Fletcher

© Neil Fletcher

Only 60 years ago the European hornet was a rare beast in the UK, and it was only central southern England that harboured a population. In the last 30 years it's substantially increased its range, spreading both east into Sussex and Kent, and north towards Yorkshire. Unfortunately it's still much maligned in many areas of the world and is in fact locally endangered and even threatened with extinction in parts of Europe owing to the destruction of its nests.

Hornet dietary requirements are surprisingly varied and their substantial hunting abilities sees them capture a wide variety of invertebrate prey. Interestingly this prey is largely used to feed the growing brood, not the adults. In return for this supply, the larvae willingly oblige the adults by exuding a sugary liquid for them to feed on. They have a huge appetite for high energy food sources and can also be found feasting on tree sap, nectar, fruit and carrion. Hornets ultimately do a fantastic job in predating what are frequently regarded as both garden and agricultural pests. Their assistance in maintaining the natural balance of other invertebrates is no doubt a benefit and it seems a great shame that they themselves should be considered a pest. Their presence in a farm or garden should perhaps be welcomed with open arms. 


  • Steven Robinson:

    21 Sep 2018 17:41:00

    Hi James. Interesting read. Having worked in woodlands at wakehurst as a nature reserve warden for 30 years the hornet is a fairly recent visitor and often occupies a dormouse box or 2 . I agree they are a creature that keeps its self to itself and l was very comfortable with their close presence. However last September walking the same route with my dog l have done countless times l was stung repeatedly on my head, arms and back. No matter how far l ran they continued to chase and sting the dog was stung too. And l would say having been stung by wasps and honey bees that a hornet sting packs a far bigger intense pain then the wasps and bees. So guess what I’m saying is that l now have a respect for the hornet and never assume that they will not attack and sting. It was a good painful lesson and l always educate visitors on my experience not to be complacent that the hornet will not attack and sting although 99% of the time they will buzz by. Cheers steven

  • Frank:

    25 May 2019 16:48:00

    Just seen our first European Hornet this year, in Burghfield, came for a quick drink and brush up before flying off.

  • Teresa:

    28 May 2019 19:04:00

    This bank holiday weekend i’ve had to remove 2 from the house or perhaps it was the same one on two different occasions? We live not far from Woods Mill. They are a bit of a surprise, as they are so big.

  • Christine I.E. White:

    29 May 2019 09:08:00

    Have also just seen ( for the first time ever! ) the above European Giant Hornet,in our garden in Poundbury, Dorchester, Dorset – on the same day – 25th May 2019.

  • Sharon Barker:

    30 May 2019 11:43:00

    Hi James, I’m in north Essex and we regularly see hornets here. I’ve just been watching (and videoing on my phone) a hornet flying low over my garden pond and almost hovering as it repeatedly dipped its tail (not head) into the water over a small area of pond weed. Any idea what it was doing? Thanks. Sharon

  • Mia Pollitt:

    31 May 2019 15:41:12

    Hi James, I experienced seeing for the first time a European Hornet on 23rd May 2019, it was trapped in my sitting room by garden door, in Crewkerne, Somerset. Wondered why the dog didn’t want to go into the sitting room !

  • Jill Gainsford:

    31 May 2019 17:59:06

    Never seen these before, but have seen two today (or the same one twice). They are massive! We live between Heathfield and Uckfield.

  • Jill Gainsford:

    31 May 2019 18:43:00

    Never seen these before, but have seen two today (or the same one twice). They are massive! We live between Heathfield and Uckfield.

  • Fleur:

    01 Jun 2019 10:37:00

    Have just seen my first European hornet. It was dipping it’s ‘tail’ into our recently installed garden pond. Happy to see new wildlife being drawn to the water, though I wouldn’t feel happy if ideas any nearer !

  • Tina:

    02 Jun 2019 04:46:00

    We saw a European hornet for the first time yesterday in our garden in a Redditch, Worcs, we were amazed at the size of t!

  • john buckler:

    02 Jun 2019 08:18:00

    just found dead hornet well inside our house having never seen one before. This is Somerset on the mendips close to cheddar gorge.

  • Rupert:

    03 Jun 2019 08:18:00

    European hornet Hagley Hall, Worcs 02/06/19

  • Andy:

    05 Jun 2019 19:22:00

    One of these beauties landed on our patio door, massive and very striking! Plymouth

  • Mark:

    08 Jun 2019 11:25:00

    I had never seen one in Oxfordshire, or anywhere else for that matter, before this summer, 2019. There is clearly a nest close to where I work. They are regular visitors now. Impressively large, like flying thumbs. They look kinda nice too.

  • philippa barton:

    09 Jun 2019 14:21:00

    I have what I am pretty certain is a European hornet next in an empty bee hive. what should I do about it?

  • Shelley:

    10 Jun 2019 11:33:00

    I have just seen one of these on the roof of my house. It truly was huge and the buzz was extremely loud! I dropped my garden shears and ran for cover ! I live in Cardiff

  • John Dunn:

    10 Jun 2019 16:24:00

    A queen was showing an interest in a small bird box, thought it was just hunting but there was evidence of cell building. I moved the box about 10 meters as it was too close to my back door. Happily nest building continues. I was surprised it chose such a small site. I live in Tadley North Hampshire

  • Angela:

    13 Jun 2019 22:04:00

    12 June 2019 European hornet, a queen, 3.8cm, very lively, in bedroom in Devon village. Trapped and then put it outside next morning. It eventually flew away.

  • Sharon:

    14 Jun 2019 13:30:00

    Just caught 4cm one inside for second time within a few days (so maybe a queen and same one). Definitely had them around us for last 5 summers at least. We live next to woods in Chailey, in the heart of Sussex. Glad to have been able to look up info about them. Letting ‘her’ out a bit further away this time…

  • dhiren smiles:

    15 Jun 2019 13:42:00

    Having removed a European Hornets nest with 9 populated cells week or so ago from a disused nest box, we now have a second colony starting in a nest box on the north face of the house. This is a second queen, even larger than the first easily 5cm long. We live in North Devon.

  • Dee Smith:

    18 Jun 2019 07:19:00

    Just had a visit from Hornet, flying through window of cottage where we are staying on holiday in the Bodmin, Cornwall area. Apparently the owners have been visited before

  • Bryan:

    18 Jun 2019 13:09:00

    Caught a European Hornet today and was absolutely blown away by how big they actually are! The one I caught was over an inch in length and was very colourful indeed. Wish I could’ve posted a pic 😔

  • D. Henchliffe:

    20 Jun 2019 14:53:00

    Regularly see hornets on the marina where I live in the south Derbyshire.
    I noticed they were catching wasps & cutting their heads off with a pile( off heads)on the floor.

  • 21 Jun 2019 09:20:00

    First saw a European Hornet in my Abergavenny (South Wales) garden last summer. We keep bees so I was alarmed to see two yesterday. Thank you for your information.

  • Shelagh Graham:

    22 Jun 2019 17:16:00

    This species of hornet has been seen three times at my daughter’s house in Central Lancashire. Twice in the greenhouse and once in the house.

  • Ade:

    22 Jun 2019 20:36:00

    Found two or three recenrly in my cottage, I always release them. Do they nest in roofs commonly ???
    Also great advice, thank you.

  • Chris Sellers:

    23 Jun 2019 13:01:00

    I have seen several of the workers in and around my house over the past fortnight (I live in East Devon). While being reminiscent of a Lancaster bomber (one actually flew within a few inches of my right ear, leaving a draught of wind – seriously) none has offered or shown any aggression. I am now trying to educate my daughter about these fascinating insects – such as the meaning of the markings on these insect (signifying to potential predators that it would be unwise to mess with them). My main concern is that my dog shows a very marked propensity to try to bite any and every flying insect in and around the house – I had to dissuade her from trying to bite a hornet this morning which was crawling about on one of my shoes!

  • James:

    23 Jun 2019 19:06:00

    Just caught a queen hornet making a nest in my garden in central devon.

  • Jackie Wood:

    23 Jun 2019 19:33:00

    We live at Upper Hartfield, East Sussex, on the fringes of Ashdown Forest. Plenty of European hornets here, we spot them daily. One came down the chimney and was discovered by my husband as he removed ash. It was sooty and cross! We kept our distance. I can confirm attraction to light. My bedroom window was open for one minute this evening before a hornet flew in.

  • Richard:

    25 Jun 2019 20:20:00

    I have now seen 6 or 7 of these, just West of Looe, in Cornwall, over the last month. Most have been very large. Today’s was around 40-45mm.

  • Cara Smith:

    28 Jun 2019 12:33:21

    Hi, Just found a nest in my shed, Its freaking me out? Any advice please, I can send pictures? Thanks

  • Robin Skipper:

    28 Jun 2019 21:29:00

    Seen the Hornet three times around our work shop in Hadlow Dowen East Sussex it was on the gate post for a good hour the other day ,then came back the next day flew around for a bit then off ,can’t mistake the noise thay make ,I got a picture of it , the size off it very pretty really did not seem aggressive like wasps though

  • Stephen:

    29 Jun 2019 08:24:00

    Hi, just been woken up this morning, 29/06 by loud droning buzz in bedroom. Huge hornet doing slow circuits of the room. I got out of bed and pulled curtain back from open window to allow it easy exit which it took. I live two miles west of Stratford upon Avon. Presume this hot spell brought it northwards.

  • Alison:

    29 Jun 2019 14:58:00

    I have just come across one of these buzzing in and out of our nesting box (near York). It’s an absolute beast, and very loud indeed. I’m happy enough to leave it there but my husband is seriously allergic to wasp stings – does anyone know if these are likely to induce a similar reaction if he were to be stung?

  • David LAWTON:

    30 Jun 2019 13:16:00

    I have just pickled up a dead giant hornet in the house after we got back of holiday. We live near to Bakewell in the Peak District

  • Richard:

    30 Jun 2019 22:29:00

    Found one of these dead in my Daughter’s bedroom. It was huge!! Must of been a queen. We live in a wooded area in Wiltshire, just South of Marlborough. Savernake Forest is about a mile away!!

  • Barry Harper-Smith:

    01 Jul 2019 23:05:00

    Just seen my first ever European Hornet. It’s massive! We live near St Neots, Cambridgeshire

  • Peter barnett:

    02 Jul 2019 13:52:00

    Have had two in two days I think 1 drone 1 Queen minal near savernake forest

  • denis:

    02 Jul 2019 16:15:00

    I live near Abergavenny on the Welsh borders and most years I have had 1-2 hornets over the summer but this year I am getting 3-4 almost every day coming into our garden house located near woodland which is probably where they are nesting. They are quite scary with their size and loud buzzing and despite reports of their docility I’d not want to get stung by one as I have a bee/wasp allergy.

  • Beverly Taylor-Armitage:

    04 Jul 2019 09:56:00

    Multiple European hornets 🐝 in the air today. Horses very freaked out and needed to be stabled.
    Hay making in the area so probably nests have been disturbed.

    Incredible size and buzz……like humming birds.

  • Amanda Tatham:

    06 Jul 2019 06:48:00

    This spring I found three enormous hornets hibernating in my cottage, one was alive. I put on a shoe I hadn’t worn in the winter and felt something in the toe – luckily that one was dead. Early this morning a huge hornet flew in through my bedroom window and it’s deep buzz woke me. I quickly drew the curtain. It went out and I closed the window but it hovered outside trying to get in again. I’ve not seen them here before in 55 years.

  • Joy:

    07 Jul 2019 13:39:00

    We were woken this morning by a loud buzzing. I gently moved the curtains to find what I believed to be a hornet. I have never seen one before and was shocked by its size. I gingerly opened the window and it flew away. We live in Staffordshire.

  • Amanda Tatham:

    07 Jul 2019 20:44:00

    This spring I found three enormous hornets hibernating in my cottage, one was alive. I put on a shoe I hadn’t worn in the winter and felt something in the toe – luckily that one was dead. Early this morning a huge hornet flew in through my bedroom window and it’s deep buzz woke me. I quickly drew the curtain. It went out and I closed the window but it hovered outside trying to get in again. I’ve not seen them here before in 55 years.

  • lesley hutchings:

    10 Jul 2019 12:40:00

    Found one on my conservatory floor this morning , placed it outside , hopefully ok as the conservatory is not insect friendly !
    A few years ago one night one flew into our bedroom and hid in the wardrobe , i didnt believe my husband til the next morning when it was trying to get out a window

  • Moira Billing:

    11 Jul 2019 07:57:00

    European hornet appeared in my garden room in Thatcham back in June in one of the lights. Sadly died but was impressive – 3.5cm long and 5.5cm wingspan

  • Peter Beeson:

    16 Jul 2019 15:58:00

    I have just found one of these hornets in Heydon, Norfolk.
    Unfortunately I killed it to photograph and identify – sorry.
    The current ‘bad press’ caused a bit of a knee-jerk reaction, they are quite alarmingly big in a small room, added to memories of an attack by South African hornets when I lived there.

  • Angie:

    19 Jul 2019 10:23:00

    We saw what we thought was an ordinary Hornet but after looking it up after remembering its distinct yellow head and big wings (similar to a Harrier Jump Jet face on) very big with a loud drone…spotted in Creepy Crawley, West Sussex

  • Barbara:

    19 Jul 2019 14:19:00

    Think we have a nest in an oak tree in the garden close ro the house. Mortimer. Berks. Have young grandchildren. What should we do?

  • Jean Thorpe:

    24 Jul 2019 07:35:00

    Had five in the house yesterday… they were madly busy in the evening due to the light. Am happy to live alongside them if we can but they are a little intimidating.
    My son is convinced there is a nest in the chimney…need to investigate.
    Fleet, Hampshire

  • Jean Thorpe:

    24 Jul 2019 23:22:00

    Had five in the house yesterday… they were madly busy in the evening due to the light. Am happy to live alongside them if we can but they are a little intimidating.
    My son is convinced there is a nest in the chimney…need to investigate.
    Fleet, Hampshire


    28 Jul 2019 11:55:00

    Just found a nest in centre of the lawn

  • Mark:

    28 Jul 2019 16:52:00

    Have these Hornets nesting in one of my bird boxes about 4 metes up on the high point of the house, had 2 in the house (they are VERY BIG) after accidentally leaving the windows open, now see about 5 hornets going in and out all the time, I live in Hailsham.

  • Kate:

    29 Jul 2019 15:48:00

    My 1o year old son just found a found a dead european hornet in his room – really gave us the heeby jeebies!! Found this site while trying to identify what on earth it was! There’s no doubt – it exactly matches the pictures/size description. Never seen one before. We live in NW Leicestershire (East Midlands).

  • Len:

    08 Aug 2019 05:58:00

    Had two in our kitchen last night, managed to catch and release outside. They kept trying to get back in,was unable to open patio doors all evening. Got up this morning and they are on the patio looking very docile or dying, was able to collect them up easy and leave on patio table. Will see what happens when it warms up a bit. They are very beautiful.

  • Valerie:

    08 Aug 2019 21:00:00

    Found one outside resting by the porch light two nights ago, and now tonight one came into the garage buzzing round the light. Managed to catch it and put it out in a large aquarium net! (Hastings)

  • Laura griffiths:

    13 Aug 2019 21:21:00

    Saw four hornets on my mint plant today, they are lovely, albeit scary, to look at!

  • Sam Dixon:

    15 Aug 2019 08:30:00

    15 Aug 2019 09.30am
    One just landed (briefly) on my leg. Astonishing! Shoreham by Sea, West Sussex

  • Elizabeth:

    18 Aug 2019 12:04:00

    Seen a European hornet twice in my garden. A few weeks ago on Blackberry bushes and just seen one again on apple windfalls. I live in virginia water surrey.

  • M:

    21 Aug 2019 11:26:00

    Just seen one outside in the front garden in South London!

  • Ian:

    22 Aug 2019 17:16:00

    We have a nest in our chimney here in Mid Devon there’s lots of buzzing all night We will leave them until they go hopefully they won’t block it!

  • 24 Aug 2019 06:44:00

    We have a nest on my father’s studio, you can hear them chewing the wood from quite a distance. We accidentally left the outside light on last night, when we opened the back door a dozen of them invited themselves in! A bit of light reconfiguration and some patience and they left without causing any trouble. On the bright side we’re hardly seeing any common wasps and the garden looks great. It does seem rather late for them to be building a nest… East Sussex.

  • Sam:

    25 Aug 2019 07:54:00

    Hi James
    We had one banging against the kitchen window last night, and it was still there the following morning. It’s very docile so my husband was able to move it to a safer spot up the garden. It’s nearly 3cm! We’re in Cranleigh, Surrey.

  • Helen Cooper:

    25 Aug 2019 17:35:00

    And one in my garden in Cambridge: again, not a species I had seen here before.

  • peter ritter:

    25 Aug 2019 22:06:00

    For the last few weeks we’ve had pretty large hornets fly into the house late in the evening. I usually open the window wide and switch the lights out – to allow them to leave again. But tonight was really bad. There were at least 4. I caught them with a jar and paper and threw then back out, but before I knew it another one was in the house. We can’t keep the windows open at night, which is a problem with this heat. Don’t know what is scarier, the hornets buzz or my wife’s screaming. It sounds like they are being reported all over the country – so not too endangered. I may eliminate one or two the next time one is in the house. I’m sure there is a nest somewhere nearby.

  • Neil Anderson:

    26 Aug 2019 13:26:00

    Just watched one hunting honey bees on flowering plant in my back garden in Sidcup Kent ,it gabbed a bee and flew away with it to a nearby tree.

  • joanne Thompson:

    26 Aug 2019 20:41:00

    Wow I have massive fear of wasps due to a allergic reaction when i was younger so I’m always on edge in the summer, however we have moved to a new house next to the woods, tonight I saw the biggest type of wasp/hornet ever!! thought it was a asian hornet (me thinking worst as always) turns out to be a European hornet. Took a picture of it and identified it, wow they’re big…..I live in Wakefield, west yorkshire.

  • Mandy:

    26 Aug 2019 21:02:00

    We have four or five visit the garden attracted to the lights every evening for the past two weeks. Absolutely massive! Near Southampton Hampshire

  • Catherine:

    27 Aug 2019 21:32:00

    We’ve had four or five huge ones in the house each evening for the last week,m. I’m terrified of them but my partner is able to persuade them to leave pretty easily with cup and paper. We’re in South Norfolk. No idea if we have a nest and having read this article won’t be in a hurry to try and find it!

  • Liz:

    28 Aug 2019 08:24:00

    We have a European hornet nest in a small bee hive (nuc box) in our field. Just noticed it yesterday. I live in Nantwich, Cheshire. They haven’t caused any trouble with our bee colonies. I will not get too close to the nest, just in case….

  • Sharon:

    28 Aug 2019 11:08:00

    I had what I have identified to be a European Hornet in the house last night. The buzzing was so loud and intense. I shut the doors and window overnight and managed to capture it in a glass, before releasing back to the garden this morning. I live near Southend-on-Sea in Essex and only have a small back garden. The nearest woods are half a mile away. Quite scary!

  • Liz:

    29 Aug 2019 17:05:00

    We have a European hornet nest in a small bee hive (nuc box) in our field. Just noticed it yesterday. I live in Nantwich, Cheshire. They haven’t caused any trouble with our bee colonies. I will not get too close to the nest, just in case….

  • Caroline Crick:

    01 Sep 2019 21:11:00

    We’ve had 2 fly in during the evening this week. Never seen them before. Hockley Essex

  • Yvonne Adam:

    02 Sep 2019 14:42:00

    Have one sitting on my front porch. Seems a bit dozy. We live in Billingshurst West Sussex

  • Catherine:

    04 Sep 2019 11:26:00

    I’ve been watching a large nest in the trunk of a Spanish Chesnut next to the pergola in the Hill Garden, Hampstead Heath, north London. They appeared to be foraging from blossom on nearby shrubs but now wonder if they were taking the other pollinators who were visiting the blossom?

  • Andrea:

    06 Sep 2019 23:01:00

    We made the mistake of leaving a bedroom window open for fresh air on a cool September night, and returned to the room to find 20-30 of these beasts sitting on the curtain rail. A couple patrolling around the ceiling. Scared they’re moving in for winter. Considering sealing off the room – there’s just too many to disperse. Does this happen to other people? How do we get them to leave, without pesticides?

  • Lesley:

    07 Sep 2019 10:15:00

    Just had one land on my conservatory window to take a breather. The size of it made me take a closer look and find out what it was. I live in Coventry.

  • Steve Clarke:

    07 Sep 2019 10:39:00

    We have what we’re pretty sure is a European Hornet in our garden today here in Southport, Merseyside. Haven’t seen one for years, is it unusual for one to be this far north?

  • Lesley:

    08 Sep 2019 13:23:00

    Just had one land on my conservatory window to take a breather. The size of it made me take a closer look and find out what it was. I live in Coventry.

  • Jennifer Ford:

    13 Sep 2019 16:25:00

    I’ve been helping out the Wasps for the past couple of years behind our fence in Partridge Green. Honey and water in a dish with apples and blackberries. I usually see about 2 European Hornets join in. However, there are around a dozen that visit now and hardly any wasps. They are amazing.

  • Baly:

    21 Sep 2019 17:45:00

    My brother took a photo of one relaxing on his wall. Never in 49yrs have i seen a hornet in Wolverhampton. First for us.

  • Peter:

    24 Sep 2019 07:19:00

    We have a nest nearby and at the moment they are visiting us every night – attracted by the house lights. FYI we live on Cleeve Hill, Cheltenham.

  • Jim:

    25 Sep 2019 07:21:00

    I work at Langdon Hills in Essex and we have a colony that appears to come biennially!
    They are very territorial but only sting when provoked (I didn’t mean to – honest!)
    Fantastic nest architecture 😁

  • Laura:

    29 Sep 2019 21:54:00

    We have a nest currently somewhere very close to the house and my husband is allergic to wasp stings. One is intimidating enough let alone the amount we are getting at night. Concerned

  • Mike:

    10 Oct 2019 14:47:00

    There is a very large burrow of these hornets on the South Downs just above woodingdean, I sat and watched them earlier today, they were having a good clear out of the burrow entrance.

  • Kaye hamer:

    19 Oct 2019 13:51:00

    Just found a large hornet here in Carmethenshire

  • Emma:

    21 Oct 2019 05:42:00

    Hubby has had a nasty sting off one this morning. It was hiding in his pajama top! Hes in Essex.

  • Marilyn:

    25 Oct 2019 10:30:00

    Saw one of these Hornets earlier this year (maybe June or July). It was huge. I live nearby woods in Lanark, Scotland.

  • Julie:

    26 Oct 2019 21:18:00

    Oct 2019..hornet flew in and landed on was dark outside and attracted to the light on ceiling..i live in hampshire…i have a brilliant photo

  • Bruce:

    27 Oct 2019 13:53:00

    European Hornet in the orchards of our N Yorkshire garden, just north of Harewood village. Warm sunny day, lots of dead fruit on the ground and lots of wasps chewing away! We left it to its business…..

  • Clair Rushin:

    05 Jan 2020 13:10:00

    Witness a European hornet for the first time inside a hollowed tree curious to see it as it was also curious to see I. Bradgate park Leicester.

  • Ashley Roffe:

    18 Jan 2020 09:40:00

    I used to see these regularly when working in villages in the Bodiam area of East Sussex. I have worked on a roof within two metres of a nest and the hornets ignored me. I liken them to a Chinook; you frequently hear one and know what is coming before you see it.

  • Ashley Roffe:

    19 Jan 2020 09:08:00

    I used to see these regularly when working in villages in the Bodiam area of East Sussex. I have worked on a roof within two metres of a nest and the hornets ignored me. I liken them to a Chinook; you frequently hear one and know what is coming before you see it.

  • Peter Bryant:

    25 Feb 2020 07:27:00

    Gnosall, Staffordshire.
    I believe I’ve encountered my first one last night, I was in bed when my son said there’s a wasp in the house, leave it alone I said, it’ll be alright. A few minutes later it was flying round my bedroom lamp.
    During the night I got up, when suddenly I had this very painful burning sensation in my foot, I thought I was having a cramp…but no, I’d stood on the hornet…he was then evicted from the home.
    First one I’ve ever come across, hopefully his presence here is a result of the recent storms.

  • Julian Mortimer:

    25 Feb 2020 14:49:00

    My mum (aged 94) keeps them in the roof, believes them to be good at controlling garden pests. There has been a new nest up there for more than 20 years. Lots of abandoned old ones, too. She left a window open one night, with the lights on, in the dining room. They all came round for tea! She turned off the lights, and they left. Lovely creatures, big yellow heads and edgy markings. Keep meaning to set up a camera in the loft space, but a little hesitant, since that is their turf. Interestingly, don’t see much of them in the garden!

  • Ian Carroll:

    14 Jul 2020 16:48:00

    On holiday in Brittany and found 3 European hornets crawling around together on apex wooden beam in attic bedroom. Tried to usher them out but I was stung on the head and my pal ( who is a beekeeper) was stung on arm. Didn’t half hurt!!! Hurt more than any bee sting, I can tell you!

  • Patrick:

    17 Jul 2020 20:59:00

    There seem to be multiple Swarms of these in the fields behind East Dean in in the South Downs… almost on every other tree And bush .. gave me a bit of a panic as they seemed to be following me while walking my dog… had to constantly swing my jumper around to keep them away!

    REPLY: Thanks Patrick. I doubt very much that these were hornets. They are almost certainly Summer Chafers. These are beetles which congregate on the downs right about now. I was out watching wildlife on the Downs last night and there were a lot about. They are completely harmless and have been here for a lot longer than we have. They congregate on bushes or other tall things. They obviously mistook you for a hawthorn bush.
  • James England:

    02 Aug 2020 19:12:00

    I’ve been stung this year by honey bees (I keep hives) wasps and two hornets. I stood on one in my kitchen a few hours ago. Personally the pain from the hornet is orders of magnitude greater than the wasps or bees. I’m interested in how this is possible if the toxicity is lower? Different type of poison? The pain from a hornet is quite extraordinary. Thanks

    Blimey, sounds like you've been getting your fair share of insect venom this year! Guess keeping hives is likely to make the chances a bit higher. Awesome you have them though, that must be such a pleasure. Interesting you found the Hornet sting significantly more painful, doesn't seem to be the case for everybody. I think envenomation is always complex due to the cocktail of chemicals & I certainly can't claim to be any kind of chemist 😄 I think generally toxicity is lower but the venom contains more of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine which may make it seem worse. But who really knows! James
  • Hugh Rooney:

    06 Aug 2020 12:47:00

    06/08/2020 – 1.30pm
    Single, apparently foraging, very sizeable hornet (? European) spotted here in Kippen (Stirlingshire). First time spot over the right years we’ve lived here.

  • Hazelle:

    08 Aug 2020 22:26:00

    2 large hornets buzzing round an outside light tonight. Have had a few of these visitors this year. No problems so far…

  • Ian Cadman:

    08 Aug 2020 22:32:00

    just been round to our friends house for a bar b que, the outside lights were on and we noticed a large wasp buzzing around the light, on closer inspection we realised it was a european Hornet, as we watched more Hornets started to appear around the outside lights, we decided to leave when we counted to eight. obviously they must have a nest near by , as they were coming and going with more frequency and growing numbers. keep your burgers Rich we’re off!!!!

  • Ioan Jones:

    09 Aug 2020 14:34:49

    Sighting in North Shrewsbury.

  • Caroline Penley:

    12 Aug 2020 08:03:00

    Wondering how many hornets typically make up one nest? Also wonder why we have only ever seen them at night (if we leave certain lights on). I spend a lot of time admiring other insects but haven’t seen a hornet in daylight.

    A Hornet nest at its peak may contain a few hundred individuals. The workers are active throughout the day and night, though as they're attracted to light we tend to spot them mostly at this time - they're usually bumping into windows! During the day they spend a lot of time foraging within the tree canopy, making them less visible as a whole. James

  • Pujan Soni:

    17 Aug 2020 23:21:00

    We had a European hornet fly in through our bedroom window late last night about 10pm. Thinking it was an Asian hornet (you can’t believe how big the European hornet is til you see it. They are HUGE!), we shut the door and slept in the other bedroom as we lost it somewhere in the room. I can confirm they are attracted to light, they buzz ferociously and contrary to what is said here, this one seemed very aggressive.
    Thinking it had flown out the window we settled into bed the following night to find it creeping next to the bedside lamp inches from our face. Hit it with a shoe and ejected it out of a window. You will be shocked at how big they are, it is not a joke. I dread to think of the size of an Asian hornet. We live in Hayward’s Heath, West Sussex.

  • Mark Garrity:

    18 Aug 2020 20:11:00

    Noticed a large bee in garden, looked it up and found out it was a hornet. We now have 3 or 4 visiting the garden attacking the apples on the Appletree. They tend to Spend all day mining it out just leaving skin. Finished one now on to next Apple. About three times the size of a wasp. Not sure if they are normal Euro Hornets or large variety. Tend to leave us a line. Have a number of pictures but don’t know how to send them.

  • Mark Garrity:

    18 Aug 2020 20:16:00

    Sorry should have said I live in Bagshot.

  • Lorraine Borley:

    19 Aug 2020 08:25:00

    European hornets coming in at night In Basildon Essex x 3 last 2 weeks Aug 2020 and 1 last summer. Pictures taken.

  • Nicola Percival:

    19 Aug 2020 22:36:01

    Should have said – I’m in Tetbury in the Cotswolds

  • Nicola Percival:

    20 Aug 2020 08:26:24

    We’ve had one in our living room this evening. Couldn’t believe the size of it! It came in through the open window and landed on the lampshade. Hasn’t moved from there for hours now. Turned the light off, shut the door and went to bed… window still open so it can make it’s own way out! I have no wish to harm it – although they’re rather intimidating! Except to our very curious puppy of course, had to pop her in the kitchen out of the way.

  • David Taylor:

    20 Aug 2020 22:34:00

    I’ve had four European hornets in my house in the last 6 days. Managed to capture each one and release them with the help of my son. I live in Frant, East Sussex. Been here over 13 years and these are the first hornets I’ve ever seen.

  • Anne evans:

    22 Aug 2020 22:00:00

    My husband has seen a number of them going in and out of a little hole in the brickwork of the pine end of the house.
    Great ! On the other pine end we have a large bee population in the eaves. Too much wildlife for me!!!

  • Mark:

    24 Aug 2020 10:57:00

    Unable to find the nest but we have upwards of 20 hornets each night trying to get into the house. We are unable to have any windows open in the eveing otherwise they get in and we have to try and catch and evict them. On our kitchen windows 2 nights ago we had about 30 of them all together, it was quite frightening. We are surrounded by woods and live just outside Horsham, West Sussex. Would very much like some assistance to remove them as they are very much becoming a pain.

  • Sussex Wildlife Trust:

    24 Aug 2020 14:22:44

    @ Mark: Hornets are certainly attracted by house lights, so if you are able to turn off the room lights, open a window and shut the door they should hopefully leave by their own accord.

  • Chris Kee:

    27 Aug 2020 12:59:00

    Saw a European hornet hovering over a cut meadow, close to the ground near Ockley, Surrey.

  • James Arbuthnot:

    30 Aug 2020 11:04:00

    We have a nest of European hornets in a tree in our garden. They seem to be fine there, and we’re not fussed. But we’ve just acquired a beehive with its colony of, say, 10,000 bees. Will the hornets pose an existential threat to the bees?

  • Chris White:

    31 Aug 2020 07:36:00

    We live in East Devon near a wooded area and have regular European hornet visitors from August onwards. They do keep to themselves, but my main concern is their predatory nature on honey bees. They hunt them in our flower beds and literally spend all day killing them and coming back for more. I don’t want to use any traps but would love to save the bees! Any ideas or advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

    As sad as it is to witness, there really isn't anything to be done. European Hornets are a native species and like many wasps, are predatory, typically feeding other insects to their growing young. However, they won't generally hunt the same prey all year round. Honey Bees are not their only prey and their predation won't impact the overall survival of the bee colony. In many cases they may even predate other insects that are harmful to bee colonies. This of course is markedly different to invasive Asian Hornets, who pose a significant threat to bees. James
  • Sussex Wildlife Trust:

    31 Aug 2020 09:09:43

    @ James Arbuthnot: European Hornets will take honey bees but not habitually, so shouldn’t be a problem to your hive

  • 31 Aug 2020 11:20:00

    On our allotment they have a nest at the base of a slatted compost bin, the entrance not 5cm above ground level. This morning, owing perhaps to the drop in temperature, activity was greatly increased to the extent that a one-way system was in place, those exiting doing so via a side entrance.

  • Jo Barrett:

    04 Sep 2020 18:53:00

    I spotted a European Hornet today in my back garden. He was on his own. My neighbours have a pear tree dripping with fruit so I expect he came from there.
    Waterlooville, Hants.

  • Kat:

    04 Sep 2020 21:21:00

    We have a nest just outside our door in a bird box, we live in Devon and In quite a secluded plot surrounded by woodland, there is ample food of all kinds for them, but I have to confess they make me slightly uneasy… we have young (ish) children and cats, dogs etc… they are quite intrusive especially at night! I accept they will be in the woodland, but they’re a little too close to home for me.
    We really are thinking about pest control, which saddens me, because of course they haven’t done anything other than go about their day/nightly duties, but I do have huge concerns about the safety.

  • Jeff Chambers:

    04 Sep 2020 21:30:00

    Live in Horsham West Sussex. Have had 3 of these in the house over the last month. Lived here 14yrs first time we’ve seen them. Wonder if the lockdown has had an effect on their proliferation this year? There must be a nest nearby.

  • Pippa:

    06 Sep 2020 20:48:00

    We live near Usk in Monmouthshire. Never seen one before but there seems to be a nest nearby as almost every night we have at least 1 trying to get in the house. Unfortunately they drive our dog mad and she tries to kill each one she sees, often successfully.

  • Jamie:

    07 Sep 2020 20:05:00

    We are in Groombridge and have just seen the European Hornet 3 nights in a row attracted to our exterior lights. It’s huge!! And what a noise. Awesome

  • Nicola Percival:

    07 Sep 2020 22:21:00

    Should have said – I’m in Tetbury in the Cotswolds

  • Jane:

    08 Sep 2020 07:22:00

    We have several coming in each evening when the bedroom lights are on. Need to remember to close the windows as the noise they make is scary and I’m allergic to wasp and bee stings so need to avoid them. Not seen this many before. There must be a nest nearby but haven’t located it yet. What time of day are they most active? Tunbridge Wells

  • Anne Harris:

    08 Sep 2020 15:00:00

    I have a farm at Lower Dicker East Sussex and regularly have a hornet’s nest and four or five bumble bee nests each year. This year I have two nests only a couple of hundred metres apart ! One in a hollow telegraph pole and one very large one in the hollow wall of an old wooden portacabin (one too many). In the past they have made small nests in hollow poles an one huge nest in next door’s shavings horse dung lump

  • Jono walker:

    09 Sep 2020 10:14:00

    was on my way back from my sons school and I saw a huge European hornet land on the fence next to us, first thing i noticed was the sheer size of it, second was its yellowish/orange face which seemed to be staring right at me! Now I’m absolutely terrified of wasps/hornets so I quickly walked passed, it then flew by me and the sound it made was very very intimidating! Sounded like a may bug. I’m in Hastings, east Sussex and its about the 3rd one I’ve seen in the last year or so.

  • A Parry:

    09 Sep 2020 19:48:00

    We had 2 in the bedrooms last night – Kent East Sussex birders. Never seen a hornet in England before. Relieved to hear that they are unfairly maligned …but nonetheless definitely not keen to have them in the house !

  • Paul Duck:

    10 Sep 2020 07:26:03

    I was in the yard outside my flat in West Sussex yesterday and noticed a rather impressive looking insect on a buddleia flower. After a Google I can say with some conviction that it was a European Hornet. As someone else has mentioned, the head was colourful with a vivid yellow hue.
    I enjoyed having a look but certainly didn’t touch!

  • A Parry:

    10 Sep 2020 13:57:00

    We had 2 in the bedrooms last night – Kent East Sussex birders. Never seen a hornet in England before. Relieved to hear that they are unfairly maligned …but nonetheless definitely not keen to have them in the house !

  • Sam:

    10 Sep 2020 20:41:00

    Hello, we’ve lived in the same house for three years, garden backs onto fields near Cheddar gorge. Each year we have a hornet or two visit our garden, I think the still water and plums may be the reason. But today we saw one slice up a big dragonfly on the road in front, it made 3 trips taking a chunk each time. I even helped chop the long body at one point, it had made such a huge effort! Very uninterested in us. Since learning they fear moving water I now like their visits.

  • Sam:

    11 Sep 2020 19:16:00

    Hello, we’ve lived in the same house for three years, garden backs onto fields near Cheddar gorge. Each year we have a hornet or two visit our garden, I think the still water and plums may be the reason. But today we saw one slice up a big dragonfly on the road in front, it made 3 trips taking a chunk each time. I even helped chop the long body at one point, it had made such a huge effort! Very uninterested in us. Since learning they fear moving water I now like their visits.

  • Sam:

    13 Sep 2020 13:02:00

    Hello, we’ve lived in the same house for three years, garden backs onto fields near Cheddar gorge. Each year we have a hornet or two visit our garden, I think the still water and plums may be the reason. But today we saw one slice up a big dragonfly on the road in front, it made 3 trips taking a chunk each time. I even helped chop the long body at one point, it had made such a huge effort! Very uninterested in us. Since learning they fear moving water I now like their visits.

  • Emma H:

    13 Sep 2020 20:16:00

    We live in Bentley, Worcestershire. Just had 2 hornets attracted to our outdoor lights. They are big and noisy and a bit intimidating. Although they didn’t seem interested in us. There’s an abundance of fruit trees Nearby so I expect that’s the attraction. Last year, 2 flew in to the house in February I think. Docile and massive, again attracted to the light.

  • Sam:

    14 Sep 2020 08:26:00

    Hello, we’ve lived in the same house for three years, garden backs onto fields near Cheddar gorge. Each year we have a hornet or two visit our garden, I think the still water and plums may be the reason. But today we saw one slice up a big dragonfly on the road in front, it made 3 trips taking a chunk each time. I even helped chop the long body at one point, it had made such a huge effort! Very uninterested in us. Since learning they fear moving water I now like their visits.

  • Susan Jarvis:

    14 Sep 2020 16:57:00

    A hornet has been visiting the grapes in our greenhouse in North Devon for several days. About an inch long, so would it be a male or worker having a last fling?

  • Mike Sankey:

    14 Sep 2020 20:14:00

    We have a family of hornets around here.
    Normally it’s one a year, but currently we have them attracted to the lights in the garden, at least 5 at a time

  • Margaret:

    15 Sep 2020 20:11:00

    Outskirts of Liphook East Hampshire, rural location. Been sat indoors every evening for the past 2 weeks with the lights out and the windows closed. We have a massive European hornet population. As in they are clamouring over our windows trying to get in. This year is the worst I’ve ever known it . Looking outside at the street lights we can see them buzzing around. The area is crawling with them. Good for nature, bad for my electric bill as we’ve had to purchase extra fans to keep cool during this warm weather . Netting is up over all windows but they chew through it ! Roll on winter when we can have our lights on!

  • SammyJ:

    16 Sep 2020 10:22:00

    hello, found a European hornet in our bathroom this morning, no windows and had to trap it in there till the hubby gets home as dont want my 2 little kids annoying it.
    Shocked me the size of it for definite.
    I’m on haywards heath, mid sussex.

  • Roger:

    16 Sep 2020 21:47:00

    Edge of New Forest.
    Just had to evict 4 european hornets from our kitchen. They are fast they can get back into the house before I can.

  • Louise Goodwin:

    19 Sep 2020 06:34:00

    Saw a European Hornet while I was at work yesterday in St Helens on the Isle of Wight. Landed on a customers glass which I lifted and placed onto an empty table. About 3cm in length,never seen one before. It buzzed off back into a wooded area shortly after.

  • Jonathan Davies:

    19 Sep 2020 15:38:00

    Not seen a hornet for three years, but there were loads around Bubbenhall Meadow Nature Reserve (Warwickshire) this afternoon. Big respect to these beautiful insects.

  • Poppy:

    19 Sep 2020 20:44:00

    We’ve seen these a few times recently, we first had a few around the garden (about a month ago) and then had one fly into one of our bedrooms. We thought that was it but a couple of days ago, we had one fly into our kitchen making a horrendous noise and it was massive but tonight me and my family were all sat in the conservatory and we had around five or six all flying around the windows trying to get in to the lights it was terrifying!-south west Dorset

  • Linden:

    21 Sep 2020 16:45:00

    I have just seen two hornets in the garden, under an old plum tree. I have lived here for over 30 years and never seen one here before. I live in Nuneaton Warwickshire

  • Ronalie Cobley:

    22 Sep 2020 12:54:00

    We have a nest in one of our sheds, wedged between cans of paint. Quite large and fascinating, from a distance.. Several hornets zooming in and out all day, very active and industrious! Unfortunately gorging on our apples before we can! They seem to exude a brown sticky mess dripping from the nest! Shed window left open at night!
    We are in W. Sussex countryside. Don’t want to destroy them…hoping they will go eventually so we can clean up!

  • Andy:

    22 Sep 2020 14:03:00

    56 & just seen my first European Hornet, it’s attracted to something in the compost bin. Beautiful. (Bishop’s Waltham)

  • Dan:

    29 Sep 2020 10:33:00

    European Hornet Queen buzzed past my head in my Worcester garden yesterday (west of the river) and it sounded like a helicopter! Huge and lovely beast. Trapped it to observe it for a while and take pictures. Released it after about 30 minutes and it flew off to the horizon. Fantastic.

  • Natalie:

    07 Oct 2020 16:28:00

    Just saw a European hornet crawling around on the pavement. It scared me a little however I still managed to snap some pictures of it. This was in East Sussex near Eastborne!

  • Heather:

    09 Oct 2020 19:18:00

    Just found a queen I think in my ironing today .it the flew into the tree in our garden.
    Rawcliffe goole

  • Tracy:

    12 Oct 2020 20:53:00

    One of these european hornets paid us a visit tonight. Caught in my hair scary experience it was huge so might have been the queen one.
    Saffron walden , essex

  • Linda:

    16 Oct 2020 19:26:00

    Just released a huge queen that came down our chimney near Norwich in Norfolk.

  • Paul:

    16 Oct 2020 23:16:00

    I have what appears to be a European Hornet trapped in my (cold) wood burner, approx 30mm long. Not sure how it got in there, but it does look a little sooty!

  • Roger:

    23 Oct 2020 17:56:00

    Found a dozy hornet outside our kitchen door this morning. 4cm in length so assume it’s a queen. First one I’ve ever seen down on the Somerset levels near Taunton.

  • Nick:

    24 Oct 2020 11:33:00

    We’ve had a European Hornet nest in the roof of our old stone garage next to the house all summer (South Gloucestershire).Mindful of their benign reputation we’ve watched them busily come and go all day from their hole ,flying fast over our patio on their missions and they never bothered us ( although they were attracted by the backdoor light at night). I did some work on the garage about 10 feet from their hole and they were fine with it. They’ve finally just vanished, presumably to hibernate.

  • Kris Jones:

    25 Oct 2020 10:54:00

    Just seen a European hornet on the bricks of our garden shed – it stayed for quite a while. We ve never seen one close up before- very large! We live near Nantwich in Cheshire.

  • Sheila Short:

    31 Oct 2020 20:47:00

    European Hornet got in my hair in Kenilworth yesterday, seemed quite sleepy. Noisy, think it came from a wheely bin outside a charity shop as I dropped stuff off

  • Bill:

    30 Dec 2020 11:54:00

    My son had one in his sitting room recently in Colwyn Bay.It sat & watched Match of the Day then flew away out of the window! Based on the coloration probably a Wolves fan! Very beautiful insects.

  • Bryden:

    30 Mar 2021 18:55:00

    Just found one of these in a shoe on the patio, currently giving sugar water as he/she seems very weak. South Yorkshire here end of March – I was surprised and glad I didn’t put my shoe on!

  • Bryden:

    31 Mar 2021 17:38:00

    Just found one of these in a shoe on the patio, currently giving sugar water as he/she seems very weak. South Yorkshire here end of March – I was surprised and glad I didn’t put my shoe on!

  • Dunmore:

    06 May 2021 18:34:00

    19.30 May 6th 2021
    Just found one in the bedroom. Debated what to do with it as it looked so fearsome. Decided killing it would make too much of a crunch so we let it go into the field opposite. Guessing it was a queen by the size and time of year so I hope she’s not planning to come back and take up residence! Staplecross, East Sussex.

  • Mary Hill:

    20 May 2021 15:39:00

    I’ve just found one of these in my sons room. It’s a rainy day and it was hugging the radiator. I’m in West Yorkshire. I’ve put it in a glass and given it some sugar water. And kept it warm. I reckon she’s a queen as 3-4cm big. Question is: what do I do with her?

  • Shirley Gray:

    27 May 2021 21:38:00

    Just had a huge one head butting the bedroom window… do I need to be worried? ;)

  • Ian Shepherd:

    30 May 2021 15:28:00

    Just found a queen in my lounge – think she might have fallen down the chimney, as I had heard something a few minutes before seeing her on the fire guard. Her wings were damaged or malformed, so she won’t be flying anywhere. I put her in the field over our garden fence, but am now hoping she doesn’t start a new colony in the garden! Rudgeway, north edge of Bristol

  • Amanda Jones:

    31 May 2021 08:20:00

    Just rescued a queen (judging by the size) buzzing in our lounge. We have a wood burning stove and regularly rescue them tapping on the glass from the inside! Fairly sure the eggs are laid on the wood store outside and ultimately incubated in our stove. They’re magnificent, straight from The Land That Tine Forgot.

  • Tina Cooper:

    31 May 2021 16:57:00

    Two seen in past two days, I think different individuals as one seemed to come from the toolshed & the other was outside the day before. Both queens I think. Beautiful creatures. Will they wipe out bees hives though? Live near Arundel W. Sussex

    ANSWER: European Hornet will take insects including honey bees, but wouldn't wipe out a hive
  • Sue Garvey:

    02 Jun 2021 13:49:00

    North Staffordshire: a very large insect was hovering over our new pond today in the sunshine, frequently dipping into the water. Thought it was a humungous wasp at first, but it was waaaay too big for that (about 4-5cm long) and not as yellow, and it was too fat to be a damselfly or dragonfly. A bit of research tells me it may have been a hornet. Glad to know they’re not as EVIL as wasps!!!

  • Steve Cook:

    02 Jun 2021 18:59:00

    I’m down in a lovely village in Neath called Bryncoch in South Wales. One decided to come in though an open kitchen window. I heard an intermittent drone-like buzz and thinking it might be a neighbour out with a strimmer I thought I’d confirm it … holy mother of God I wasn’t prepared for what I saw – it was not a pretty sight (sorry bug lovers!), orangey-brown and about an inch and a half long. Thankfully with a little further opening of the window it flew out. My wife had the same experience in the greenhouse a few hours later – might have been the same one … I’m presuming a queen going by what I’ve read.


    03 Jun 2021 15:49:00


  • Mary:

    04 Jun 2021 08:55:00

    Was stung by one in east London last night. Trod on it in the dark, brushed it away with my hand and it stung me again. Extremely painful. Wasn’t sure if it was European hornet or Asian but looking at pics online am fairly sure it was European.

  • Stephen:

    05 Jun 2021 23:01:00

    Back again in the old garage, groggy Burton on Trent Staffordshire lass! Watched as she ‘cleaned’ herself.

  • Cerrys Hill:

    06 Jun 2021 15:43:00

    Aberdare, South Wales, 06/06/21 – Queen European Hornet buzzing around my garden, sounds like a chainsaw! She is absolutely huge and very beautiful.

  • T Tapper:

    06 Jun 2021 20:22:00

    Several European hornets came into the house last summer. Seen one in my son’s bedroom this morning and another or perhaps it was the same one in my daughter’s room this evening. Have decided to close all our windows despite the heat!

  • Darren:

    06 Jun 2021 21:15:00

    Found a dead one today, 6/6/21 in Yorkshire (york). It was in my outside plastic storage box.
    Must be 3 times the size of a normal wasp, shame I can’t upload a picture.

  • Lisa:

    09 Jun 2021 09:05:00

    Hillbrow, West Sussex – found a huge one buzzing around the house, managed to get her and put back outside. (think its a her, over 3cms in length) quite pretty really.

  • Annie Keighley:

    12 Jun 2021 20:48:00

    First time I’ve seen one of these. It came down twice on the pond and scared the frogs!

  • Louisa:

    17 Jun 2021 18:59:00

    Spent the last couple of hours trying to deter a very persistent queen from using my february new bird nesting box. Based on this article I’d put it at a perfect height and place for her. Sorry queeny, my garden is so very very tiny and we will always be too close if you make it your nest. Tgere are plenty of woodlands behind the house for her and the woodpeckers have given her plenty of other options. I’m so sorry, but I smoked her out and then plugged the hole with tissue doused in peppermint oil, with a few other tissues nearby. She’s finally given up.
    I feel bad now I’ve read they’re quite docile, but my garden really is tiny and I have to use that area as its where the water butts are and the potting area. I hope I don’t scare away all my bees too though 😢

  • David hall:

    19 Jun 2021 08:54:00

    Just seen a 4cm queen giant hornet in apple Upwey,dorset. Went for camera and she had disappeared 😕

  • Ambi Pure:

    26 Jun 2021 15:20:00

    Lindfield warm afternoon. Poured out the dregs of a can of Stella “a friend” had mostly drunk but decided had enough. Within seconds loud buzz & about the biggest hornet I’ve seen came to investigate. Walked all over the liquid but did not actually drink any & left. Very orange, would be surprised only 4cm.

  • Hajera & Ridwan:

    14 Jul 2021 20:49:00

    We went on a casual stroll and lo and behold, we were ambushed by what we know now as the European Hornet. My husband was violently attacked by a Hornet and he was running, trying to fend for himself. His glasses fell off and he had to sacrifice his tuna sandwich thinking the hornet was after his food. I’m disappointed to say it wasn’t and continued following him, as amusing it was for me. Another hornet arrived and attacked me. We ran for our lives and we were lucky to enough to escape without any casualties.
    Beware, the threat is real.

  • JJ:

    21 Jul 2021 10:09:00

    We must have a nest nearby. During the last two days we have been visited by two hornets yesterday and four today. They get themselves behind our net curtains in the living room and can’t get out. Unfortunately for them a couple of them have died there. They are huge, but pretty sure they are the European version.

  • Mo:

    23 Jul 2021 21:06:00

    I have never seen a hornet until this week. I live in near Windermere. There have been at least 3 in my house each day since the first sighting. My neighbour has around five bee hives , also new. I also have lots of aphids on my plum trees. I am wondering if it is a good or bad thing to have them about. I can’t figure out where the nest is so that I can keep my children and dogs away from it. Any tips for finding out?????

  • Mo:

    23 Jul 2021 21:11:00

    I must add that the hornets that have come into my house are quite docile and easy to remove with the glass and paper technique.

  • John jones:

    01 Aug 2021 13:24:00

    Just seen 1 august a European hornet entering a wasps nest, haven’t seen it come out, does anybody know what the likely outcome will be?

  • Richard:

    02 Aug 2021 09:21:00

    I live in Walberton, West Sussex and was cutting my leylandii hedge yesterday when I was stung by what I now belive was a hornet. There may be a nest in the hedge but I have not dared go back to look! Despite having had no reaction to wasp and bee stings in the past, I had an anaphylactic reaction to this sting and although only a sore arm remains today, it was not an experience I would want again.

  • Joanne:

    03 Aug 2021 21:03:00

    I live in Galley Common Warwickshire I had three hornets come into the kitchen at night massive they were very loud looked like the European, my daughter got stung by one as it hid in the paper dog biscuit bag and one flew into the pg tips box! Bloody massive!

  • david:

    07 Aug 2021 15:19:00

    I’m in Grimsby, heard it first unusual low heavy buzzing couldn’t believe my eyes seeing it. Thought it was an Asian hornet but was more yellow overall, easily 4cm long.

  • Jessica:

    09 Aug 2021 12:32:00

    Every summer we find the odd hornet in upstairs rooms , today tree surgeons working on the garden noticed a lot of activity with Hornets entering our shed through a broken window , Hurstpierpoint West Sussex

  • Jessica:

    09 Aug 2021 15:34:00

    Every summer we find the odd hornet in upstairs rooms , today tree surgeons working on the garden noticed a lot of activity with Hornets entering our shed through a broken window , Hurstpierpoint West Sussex

  • Martyn Patrick:

    11 Aug 2021 20:10:00

    I have loads visiting my moth trap, around 8 each night ( the week 8th-11th August.
    Becoming a problem with my records as they eat and break up many moths.
    The bottom of the trap is covered with the remains of mainly Yellow Underwings, which strangely quite selective,
    Do they prefer them for some reason?
    Beautiful creatures though.
    No sightings of the Asian Hornet yet.
    CV37 0JG Near Stratford upon Avon Warwickshire.

  • susan:

    13 Aug 2021 19:08:00

    Hi, wonder if anyone can help…. this summer i have seen a hornet everyday entering and leaving a hole in my raised border it or they are in and out all day is it likely to be a nest? i didnt think they used the ground for nesting in the UK.

  • Ron:

    14 Aug 2021 09:46:00

    I have just seen one of these struggling to fly, it was carrying a fairly large bumble bee. I assume it killed it and was taking it back to the nest, to feed the rest.
    I have seen many of these in my garden for the last 5 years throughout summer, I live in Southend, Essex.

  • Dave Buckley:

    17 Aug 2021 18:19:00

    We live in Cheshire and have a colony in one of the speakers mounted under the eaves on our shed wall. There is a port which they use for access. We’ve put music through it as we do, with no visible effect on them whatsoever! So far nobody has been stung and we’ve just got on with business as usual in the garden. We’ve had to unwillingly dispatch a few of them who have been in the house, presumably attracted by the lights, otherwise we’ve been intrigued observing them and even noticed them marking territory with tiny squirts of fluid.

  • Antony Blackburn:

    20 Aug 2021 16:21:00

    Just saw my first European Hornet of the year resting on my Canna Lily in the back garden. Saw one last year that I thought was the invaisive Asian Hornet, much better informed now. Not big enough to be a queen, probably a drone, but big enough all the same. I live on the periphery of Stratford-upon-Avon. Sorry not quick enough to get my phone before it was gone

  • Isabel Fielden:

    24 Aug 2021 14:28:00

    Just seen a European hornet on my buddleia bush. I live in between Cheltenham and Gloucester, Gloucestershire. Two years ago I found a dead one in my water butt, so they are around. It was an impressive looking insect.

  • Fran Gwilt:

    25 Aug 2021 11:54:00

    We’ve had them around for the last 9 or 10 years here, just outside Banbury – we’re quite rural where we are, with no street lights.

    Although they are a bit of a nuisance, particularly at night if we’re eating outside or have the windows open, they do tend to keep themselves to themselves.

    But they’re nonetheless terrifying if they pitch up in a gang – in 2018, we regularly had a gang of about 20 buzzing at the window attracted by the light every evening.

    Although I’m scared of them close up, I oddly quite like them…IF they keep themselves to themselves!

  • Fran Gwilt:

    26 Aug 2021 10:26:00

    We’ve had them around for the last 9 or 10 years here, just outside Banbury – we’re quite rural where we are, with no street lights.

    Although they are a bit of a nuisance, particularly at night if we’re eating outside or have the windows open, they do tend to keep themselves to themselves.

    But they’re nonetheless terrifying if they pitch up in a gang – in 2018, we regularly had a gang of about 20 buzzing at the window attracted by the light every evening.

    Although I’m scared of them close up, I oddly quite like them…IF they keep themselves to themselves!

  • terry oflinn:

    29 Aug 2021 12:16:00

    just seen hornet in my back garden in lincolnshire,,impressive

  • Richard Phillips:

    03 Sep 2021 13:50:00

    Reepham Norfolk. Went into the garden about 9pm with an LED torch and suddenly heard a loud buzzing. I thought “ That’s a big bee or wasp”. I know now it was our European Hornet. It bumped into my head, I started waving my arms about and run around and it was still bumping my head. I ran indoors to escape, I hoped, then suddenly the loud buzz started again as it had landed on the back of my jumper. The wife panicked screaming “Kill it” and the dog legged it to the lounge. The hornet buzzed about then settled on the ceiling strip light, only then I could see it’s actual size. Doors and windows to the garden wide open and lights off for about an hour it had taken off. May have been my LED torch as I passed the apple tree that stirred it up but I know more if a next time visit .

  • Heather Simpson:

    03 Sep 2021 14:44:00

    It’s nice to see everybody is hornet stories. We have a nest in our back garden – it’s probably 5 m also from the patio door but on the raised area. It’s in a blue tit nest box which was quite a big box – like a log with a lid and a small hole. I noticed them going in and out of the hole and then over the next few days they chewed the whole bottom out of the nest box. I went and had a look underneath it with a torch at night (had I known they were attracted to light I would not have done this!). I didn’t seem too bothered at the time though and I saw the Queen it was absolutely huge compared to the other very large orange hornets. I was fascinated by the hexagonal chambers of the nest. Over the next few days the list started to protrude out of the bottom of the box and they started to cover it all around to look like a giant kind of fungus growing at the bottom of the bird box. I go and look most days and they don’t seem to bother at all. I have told them they are very welcome and I am happy to have them stay as long as they keep to themselves. This morning I noticed that a lot of the nest (the bit that was protruding out at the bottom of the bird box) had come away. It seems that they had only just finished it but it is just disappeared and I couldn’t see it on the floor. I was wondering if something might have attacked it and led me to this page although I can’t see that there is any information on what might have caused this. Anyway the bottom hexagon chambers are really exposed again. They are so incredibly industrious and are working away constantly on the nest walls. I was glad to learn that they leave the nest and don’t return. The nest is right above the bird bath and I haven’t been wanting to fill it up but I thought the noise of the hose might disturb them too much. Very glad I learnt about them being attracted to light as I shone the torch in there a few times! I do hear a few of them bouncing off the patio windows as well at night. It will be a shame when the nest has gone as it has been quite fascinating watching them build it from scratch. I live in Wiltshire and it’s the first time we have had a hornets nest even though we live adjacent to a great big patch of trees.

  • zoe lawther:

    05 Sep 2021 06:39:00

    Thanks for the information, we’ve been extracting these as carefully as possible from our kitchen at night. We thought they were queen wasps looking for a nest site as we had a visiting giant hornet every night, (with a hornet nest in a large tree stump) 6 years ago ad didn’t realise that hornets could be smaller or have yellow faces. It was only when I found 2 dozy ones on the kitchen steps this morning that I could study them properly so thought I’d double check. We’re lucky to live on an estate with extensive woodland so get all sorts of fascinating moths and creatures visiting us. It’s always lovely despite the obvious frantic light removal and ducking that we have to do!

  • Helen:

    05 Sep 2021 20:11:00

    Northamptonshire countryside.
    Came home after a few nights away to discover I had left my bedroom window open and the light on. Then felt sad to spot the carcasses of 10 or 15 very large ‘wasps’ on the floor.
    Later in the evening, light on, window open, very loud buzz and thud as something hit the lampshade. Obviously a hornet from its size, so lights off, curtain open, windows wide, hoping the light outside would attract it instead. After it seemed quite chilled walking over the window pane gave it a helping hand out the window courtesy of a glass and piece of paper. Bimbled off happily, no sign of aggression.
    So this article has confirmed that hornets are definately attracted to light, and unfortunately my room became an untimely grave for too many of these magnificent beasties.
    As I was searching on the net this evening (with light on and windows closed!) I heard a thud on the window and just watched one crawling up and down the glass from outside. So beautiful the colours, and the furry thorax.
    Glad to read more about them.. thanks for the info!!

  • Jill Holland:

    05 Sep 2021 21:24:00

    For the last 2 years we have had hornets crawling up our windows attracted by the lights, they are huge, most mornings we are finding them on the ground very docile, searched for a nest but never found one, not great as we have 6 dogs who snap at them and have to keep them in at night and first thing in the morning, the only way we are getting any relief from them is sitting in complete darkness

  • Kevin Snape:

    05 Sep 2021 23:04:00

    near Rotherham, South Yorkshire, 5th September 2021 mid afternoon today, reading in the garden, a very large wasp which I now know to have been a European hornet landed on my finger, I remained still and it began biting with quite sharp nips. It did not seem agitated, neither was I but it continued to explore the back of my hand and bite. It did not attempt to sting. This continued until I got to my feet and went indoors but it remained around me the while. I have read that hornets are reported to bite when threatened but I suspect that this was experimental foraging. Is this behaviour unusual I wonder?

  • Barry Nelson:

    07 Sep 2021 13:54:00

    We have several clumpsof Sedum around our garden wich attract bees and other nectar drinking insects every year. They have just come into flower and lots of bees have already discovered them. So too have the hornets, several of which are patrolling from clump to clump and catching bees.

  • Elizabeth Upton-Perry:

    07 Sep 2021 20:42:00

    Hi, I’ve just helped a European hornet from my lounge tonight. (9.00pm). I’ve never seen one before and couldn’t believe how big it was, also very beautiful.

  • Darron Preston:

    07 Sep 2021 22:14:00

    We live between Ross on Wye and Gloucester, very rural location.

    We usually get a few every year at around this time (emerging young?) but this year we have had more than I’ve seen in 20 years. We obviously have a nest nearby. Normally we just ignore them but with this heat we’ve had the windows open and as a result they come a calling.. 6 in our lounge tonight.

    We do have a very attractive garden planted for pollinators so have a huge variety of bees etc but I’m wondering what is different this year to cause a huge spike in their numbers?

  • Tony Fisher:

    08 Sep 2021 09:38:00

    I live in Strensall, just north of York.
    I had three worker hornets in my back garden about 3 weeks ago, feeding on some fruit that was heading for the composting bin. Not aggressive at all, but very impressive.
    Last night, I was leaving my son’s house at about 10pm and I heard a very impressive buzzing. A hornet was trying to headbutt his French windows, attracted by the light.
    I’ve heard rumours of a nest on Strensall Common, but have not been able to find it.

  • Cynthia:

    13 Sep 2021 23:11:00

    I’ve had a similar experience to Richard, Walberton (minus the leylandii hedge). Whilst gardening on Saturday I felt an impact on the top of my head (like being hit by a falling acorn) and then intense pain – I’ve had 12 or more wasp stings in one go before and this was worse than all of those put together! I then had what turns out to be an anaphylactic reaction – very scary indeed. Never had a problem before. By the end of that fabulous tennis match on Sat. evening, I had recovered somewhat. Think it must have been a hornet, though I didn’t see it and I’ve never seen one here, near Aberystwyth, west Wales – I’m told they are about though. On the advice of a medical friend, I’m going to ask GP for an EpiPen, as further reactions after the first one can worsen – Richard, get yourself one just in case.

  • Patrick Doherty:

    17 Sep 2021 06:44:00

    In a bit of a panic I killed one in our Conservatory this evening.
    I then took the trouble to find your website and realise that killing it was probably unnecessary. Quiet wooded area between Stratford on Avon and Evesham.

  • Jacqui:

    17 Sep 2021 07:14:00

    We live near Stroud, Gloucestershire and have seen many hornets this year and suspect they have a nest in the owl box in our garden.
    When the PIR light comes on about 20-30+ hornets aim at the light and bounce off it and lit windows getting more disturbed as time goes on. Beautiful creatures but getting frightening now so feel they need to be removed as we cannot use the patio from dusk and several are still there in the morning.

  • AndyCampbell:

    24 Sep 2021 06:13:00

    Entered the bathroom tonight and heard the unmistakable sound of a hornet. Probably a newly hatched queen looking to hibernate. Haven’t seen so many this year or common wasps, we have a lot of woodland and will normally have to destroy 5-6 nests a year. We do have a lovely bees nest in an old squirrel’s dray, has been there all summer.

  • Judy Boylan:

    25 Sep 2021 12:32:00

    September 2021. I have just seen a European hornet in Cornwall. My house is near the sea and next door to Wood. He was very data and I think dying but have left him to it.

    We have also had a lot of yellow jacks into the house and as everyone said they’re a bit terrifying. Plus one was in my coat and I did get stung.

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