Hornet Wars 2021/2022

I have a tree near our parking area which appears to be attracting flies, bees (all types), butterflies, wasps and European hornets.

No idea how the tree is doing this or what type of tree it might be.

Even more perplexing is why all the hornets appear to be fighting each other. I’ve seen half a dozen pairs of hornets drop from the tree and fight on the ground.

What the blinking flip is occurring?

Hi, Would it be possible to put a photo on of the tree? Maybe we could work out what is is first?

I’ve not seen european hornets fight one another… however, the asian hornet is a nasty piece of work…

You might well be seeing a war between asia and europe…

photo(s) of hornets and tree would be useful

I’ll grab a better photo of the tree shortly.

Insects do go a bit doolally at this time of year as they are about to die off and get manic sugar cravings.

This happens when the queens stops producing eggs and the workforce has nothing to do other than look for fermented fruits and sugars - often on wild plum trees where fruit has been left.

So they get pissed, and then get more aggressive and fight and sting. (Sounds familiar?)

They are European hornets.

They fight over the sap that they draw from wounds in the tree (looks like an oak from the bark shot). One of the ways they hunt is to drop from a height onto their prey or adversary to force them to the ground.

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Don’t get too close. You might have an allergy you don’t know about, until you are stung.

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99% probability it’s a saule/willow. I get lots of call outs this time of year for buzzing willow trees.

Very rare (but not unheard of) that hornets build nests in willow trees.

Here’s an awful photo of said tree:

If you have a smart phone I recommend a tree/plant identification app.


Well it’s not a willow! Photo of a leaf?

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Some kind of beech or hornbeam?

Some type of birch, maybe hornbeam?

Looks like an alder to me.

Leaves not pointed enough for hornbeam, and don’t look tough enough for beech, so I think alder too. Looks like a pretty scrubby tree, and under a cable, so may well be self installed which also suggest alder - they get everywhere!

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Seems early but apparently it’s time to get your traps out. Might go and get a free one just to see if it performs better than our home made efforts.

Just to help folk with indentification… Asiatique Frelon… mostly black, with yellow feet/paws and slightly smaller then European Frelon :+1: