Every living thing finds a way to make its house a home, but this group of hornets chose an eccentric building site. They constructed their home at the intersection of Sorenson Road and County Road 628. Literally.
I’m pretty sure this is a bald-faced hornet nest. The nest is basically paper. The queen’s daughter-workers chew wood fiber, mix it with the starch in their spit, and that’s how the nest is formed. One hornet mouthful at a time.
If you don’t mess with baldfaced hornets, they don’t mess with you. But if you do manage to disturb them, apparently there is almost no end to the number of times one of these hornets can sting you. And there can be several hundred hornets that call one nest a home.
The hornets freeze and die as cold temperatures move in. Nests are not re-used. The new queens hibernate outside the nest, waiting for the warmer weather to return. You can read more about Dolichovespula Maculata here.
If any readers are wasp/hornet knowledgeable, please let me know if you think I’ve identified this creature wrong. It is some other form of hornet? Or maybe a paper wasp? The shape of the nest and the swirl construction made me decide otherwise.