Montana Outdoors

May 25, 2007

Hornet nest

Filed under: Conservation, Environment, Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures — montucky @ 9:56 pm

Nests made by hornets and wasps, especially paper wasps are common and easily recognizable. I’ve seen hundreds of various types, but never one like this 2 inch by 6 inch masterpiece that hangs about 5 feet above the ground not far from a trail in a deep canyon near where I live:

Hornet nest

While I am curious about its internal construction, I will not disturb the nest to satisfy that curiosity.

It’s builder skillfully used instincts developed over thousands of years in crafting it; thousands of years living in complete harmony with nature. It is not built on a concrete pad, nor was any piece of nature destroyed to make a place for it. There was no necessity for the pollution from iron smelters to make its supporting girders, no fossil energy needed to move the necessary materials. A building permit was not required for it; no special use permits, no legal fees, no municipal regulations. It has no mortgage, incurs no property taxes, and when its useful life comes to an end, its material will gently return to the earth from where it came.


  1. Okay that is new – like you I’ve seen probably hundreds of wasps nest but this one is unique. facinating.


    Comment by aullori — May 27, 2007 @ 10:00 am

  2. It’s quite a design. I wonder why the tube is so long when others are spherical with no tube at all.


    Comment by montucky — May 27, 2007 @ 11:07 am

  3. I’ve found the same thing on the house here.
    No idea what it is but the “Hornet” or whatever is rather large and black in color. I’ve seen it on the windows of the house for the last couple of months and just spotted this nest today then saw it fly inside.


    Comment by firephoto — June 2, 2007 @ 3:26 pm

  4. Yes, that’s the same nest certainly. The one in my photo is located in Western Montana, and back in the woods at that. Approximately where are you located?

    I’ve been tempted to go back and visit the nest until I can catch one of the residents coming or going. Maybe I’ll do that later!


    Comment by montucky — June 2, 2007 @ 3:57 pm

  5. I’m in North Central Washington on the Columbia river.

    I tried to get a photo of the bee but it wasn’t cooperating. It’s mostly black with just a small amount of yellow on it and larger bodied than a honey bee.


    Comment by firephoto — June 2, 2007 @ 10:27 pm

  6. Well, we’re at least located in the same general area. I haven’t had a chance to get back to that place and see if I can catch one of the residents, but I’ll keep it in mind and eventually get there!


    Comment by montucky — June 4, 2007 @ 2:44 pm

  7. I’ve come across several pictures of nests with a long tube like this, although I’ve never seen one in person. It is not common, but not unheard of either. It is not a special type of hornet…but the same one that makes the normal, more spherical nest.

    Maybe it was confused


    Comment by M. Hunt — July 30, 2007 @ 8:51 am

  8. M. Hunt,
    Thanks for the info. Confused, or over-energetic!


    Comment by montucky — July 30, 2007 @ 9:43 am

  9. Did you ever discover what kind of nest this is? I live in the mountains of NC and have one hanging on the corner of my house…


    Comment by June S. — May 27, 2010 @ 6:16 pm

    • No, I’ve never been able to identify the maker, but have been guessing that it was a paper wasp.


      Comment by montucky — May 27, 2010 @ 10:10 pm

      • I’ve seen the insect go inside and it’s more like firephoto says: not a wasp but some kind of hornet, definitely larger in size (at least the size of a bumblebee), mostly black with a little yellow on the tail.

        wow. i am very curious esp since you’re in montana.


        Comment by June S. — May 29, 2010 @ 4:57 pm

    • Thanks! I’ve always wondered. I found a different kind of bald-faced hornet nest too. I read that they only use their nest one year and so in the late fall I brought this one home and it’s hanging in our house now. It’s a huge nest. Here was the post I did about that one.


      Comment by montucky — May 29, 2010 @ 6:58 pm

  10. I live in northern Mississippi. Just discovered one of these on an eave outside my window. Have never seen one before. Have been searching for an hour online. Finally found this site. Will continue to watch this wonder. Critter looks like a bumble bee.


    Comment by Vonnie — April 15, 2012 @ 2:02 pm

    • I have found several now, two of which are quite large. They look like over-sized footballs, about a foot long.


      Comment by montucky — April 16, 2012 @ 9:56 pm

  11. i have this nest at my back door bethlehem pa 18020 6/10/12


    Comment by Anonymous — June 10, 2012 @ 6:33 am

    • Apparently the bald-faced hornet has a wide distribution!


      Comment by montucky — June 10, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

  12. Just discovered one of these nests hanging outside my kitchen window. I have never seen anything this shape before?? I am in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. Approximately 1 hour west of Toronto.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Anonymous — June 18, 2018 @ 9:24 am

    • I’ve only seen just a few with the long entry tube too. I have a spherical bald-faced nest that is about 6 inches in diameter.


      Comment by montucky — June 18, 2018 @ 8:55 pm

  13. I an in Orange county new York. I discovered one of these nests hanging from the slide on the play set in my backyard. I will try to get a picture of the insects. The nest is about 8 inches long.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Anonymous — June 19, 2018 @ 11:51 am

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