Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Asian Hornet nest

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Question
Last year we discovered an Asian Hornets nest in our cabin. we tried several times to kill them but failed, Should we contact someone and report this find ? This nest was located in Burnside township near Pine Glen Pa, the nest was in the corner of the porch and I don't think anyone except myself knew what they were. One man was stung by one bee and it was the nastiest bee sting I have ever seen. This is not my fist encounter with these giant hornets, i had one in my attic several years ago. Again shoukd we contact someone to investigate ?

Answer
Randy:

First of all, we do not *have* Asian hornets in the U.S.  Period.  You could be referring to either the European Hornet, Vespa crabro , or the Bald-faced "Hornet," Dolichovespula maculata , a native species that is actually not a hornet but an oversized yellowjacket.

If the nest was an exposed, oval mass with a paper envelope, then it was *not* a European Hornet nest, but instead a Bald-faced hornet nest.

Here is more information on each species:

http://bugguide.net/node/view/7230

http://bugguide.net/node/view/2890

Unless you violently disturb a nest, stings are unlikely.  I have closely approached Bald-faced Hornet nests myself and have maybe had one guard wasp give me a "fly-by" once-over.  Meanwhile, these insects kill flies and other pest insects, including the kinds of yellowjackets that plague picnics and barbecues.  It is worth keeping them around if at all possible.

Please feel free to ask a follow-up question if we still need to clarify exactly what kind of wasp you are describing.  Again, we do NOT have Asian hornets in the U.S.

Eric

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton

Expertise

I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.

Experience

Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Publications
Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Education/Credentials
Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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