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BALDFACED HORNET

INTRODUCTION: This atypically large black-and-white yellowjacket gets its common name of baldfaced from its largely black color but mostly white face, and that of hornet because of its large size and aerial nest.

REGOGNITION: Adult workers about 5/8-3/4+” long; queens about 3/4+” long. Color black with white pattern on most of face. Builds paper enclosed aerial nest, gray in color.

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HABITS: The queen selects a nest site for overwintering. This can vary from shrubs to trees. Nests may also be built on overhangs, utility poles, houses, sheds or other structures. At maturity, the nest can be quite impressive with sizes of up to 14” in diameter and over 24” in length. Nests are not reused the next season.

BIOLOGY: Baldfaced hornets are social insects, with 3 types of castes: queen, workers, and males. The males and queens are produced in the colony in late summer. The newly emerged queens and males leave the nest and mate. Only inseminated queens hibernate and survive the winter. The founding queen, the workers, and the males all die. Nest consists of 100-400 workers, at its peak to 600 workers.

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