If you don't like the sight of insects now is the time to turn away, if you're even more fearful of insects that bite, sting or harm then get your running shoes on because we've got one of Australia's bad boys on display right in my own backyard. The Australian Hornet or Wasp.
I've recently moved homes and our new home has a friend who has built their hive next to our back-door. I left her there, she is a Queen hornet as queens build hives which they lay their eggs in. The hive is built from mud which they carry in their mouths. Over the past few days the hive has grown and more lave is laid inside.
This Queen has been relatively peaceful over the past week so I left her alone to raise her family as she showed no signs of aggression. Until last night she chased me and attempted to sting me. Australian hornets are quite large sizing upto 1.2 Inch with a powerful stinger that paralysis prey. They don't stop stinging until they are dead or you gone. They also hunt large spiders and are able to carry them in flight. Burrying their food paralysed and alive allowing their lave to feast as they hatch on live food...
Unfortunately I had to take action against the hive as I have young children and I can't risk them being harmed, I first sprayed around the Hive some repellent hoping to allow the Queen to move her young. Unfortunately this did not work and angered her more. She began attacking the window knowing we were indoors.
When she left, I took to the hive with a shovel destroying it and running off and hiding. I am unsure if it has worked or if the Queen will rebuild.
image sourced from google
The Australian Hornet is easily distinguished by its bright orange colour with black band around it's abdomen and black patch on thorax. It's wings are translucent with a black or blue tinge. Growing as big a 3cm long with a 2cm wingspan. The female or Queen constantly builds and adds cells to its nest built of mud, mating with males, laying more lave, filling each cell with a spider or caterpillar as a food source. The only Hornets that survive the winter are Queens as they bunker down in their hives to escape the cold.
Like all things in Australia, the Australian Hornet will fight you. It will hurt you and won't stop until you're no longer a threat. Keeping in mind their stinger has the ability to paralyse and if stung too many times can kill.