Queen Hornet with first eggs / larvae in the center cells by her rear feet.
Hornet stealing a fly from a spiders web in France.
Hornet captured by House centipede.
The initial nest, which is constructed using bark from trees mixed with saliva, is started by fertilised queens that have over wintered; this takes place from about the middle of April and she lays an egg in each cell as it is completed, after she has raised the first workers they continue with the process of enlarging the nest and feeding the larvae. The nests are normally constructed in hollows in trees, cavities in stone walls or something of a similar nature, bird nesting boxes are sometimes used; an old nest is never used twice although the same site may be used if the old nest is removed.
Perhaps surprisingly they are food for a number of species that have learnt how to deal with their sting, the Bee eater grasps them by the body and bangs them on a branch, the giant house spider dances round them wrapping them up in its web and the house centipede plunges its venom fangs into them.
European Hornets collecting nest material from a Quince tree in France. Huge quantities are required to construct the large paper maché structures.
Queen Hornet early in the year collecting insects to feed the first grubs.
Giant House spider, Tegenaria duellica, capturing a Hornet in France.