The most common Hornet in Long Island (Nassau County) New York is probably the Bald-Faced Hornet (3/8" long), Dolichovespula maculata (recently changed from Vespula maculata). These distinctive black-and-white wasps build large nests in the limbs of trees and other such locations.
Bald-faced hornets are characterized by the ivory white markings across their faces, thorax, legs, and abdomens. The queen and her offspring range in size from 13 to 20 millimeters with the queen being the largest in the nest.
The progression of the season, here in Long Island New York will bring about 100 to 400 workers in the nest. These are often found in shrubbery and bushes, as well as attached to man-made structures like houses or out buildings. These nests are usually gray and can be anywhere from 18 inches wide and 24 inches tall and up. Air vents are located at the top of the nest, allowing air in for ventilation.
Bald-faced hornets eat dead flies, yellow jackets, and other insects. However, as the summer progresses, those in the nest will eventually die off before the season’s first frost.
Bald-faced hornets could be considered helpful because they control other pest populations and they also pollinate flowers. Unless nests are located close to a structure where humans are constantly passing through, their nests can be ignored. However, you may want to have this pest removed just as a precaution. If this is the case, contact long Island Bee Removal to discuss the options of extraction.
These pests will normally appear in the spring after fertilized queens, who had spent the winter in trees, under rock piles or bark, in attics, and in walls, become active and begin to build nests.
The queen collects cellulose from rotting wood, chews it, and with her saliva makes a paper-like material to construct the nest. She then creates a brood within the nest that later becomes responsible for its upkeep, food collection, and tending larvae.