Last summer, I wrote about the hornets’ nest that was hanging in the shrubbery near our lower gardens. You can read that story HERE. While researching that story, I found that the nests are abandoned in the winter, so…
Yesterday, I cut down the hornets’ nest and took it apart. The rest of this post is mostly photos of what I found, and my comments and conjectures.
Then, as I cut it down, I realized that it was attached in several places to the branches of the shrub, although after I cut it apart, I didn’t notice twigs or branches growing through the nest, just at the edges. The nest could swing in the wind, but it wasn’t going to blow away.
I couldn’t easily cut the nest in half, so I dismantled it, beginning at the bottom. I discovered, first, a few cells on a stem which led to a section of cells that filled the entire nest. It was like the few small ones were an “entry way” to the first floor. A few of the cells in the large section were filled with larvae, but only a few.
I admired the hard work, the engineering, the time and patience it took to build this intricate, air cooled home. I tried to count the layers of paper that covered the nest, and pored over the striations in the coverings, thinking of all the old wood that went into this home.
Take your time. Look at these photos. Let me know what you think.
And, remember, somewhere under a rock, a queen is waiting for spring to start the cycle anew.