Bald-faced Hornet

Alberta
Nest under construction

Alberta

Completed nest

Bug Bits
Common Name: Bald-faced Hornet
Scientific Name: Dolichovespula maculata Linnaeus
Native to: Throughout North America
Date Seen: August 2013
Location: North East of Calgary, Alberta
Notes: This is not a true hornet – it is more closely related to yellow jackets. They have striking black and white markings and are a large size. They kill significant numbers of flies and occasionally yellow jackets. They make large, football-shaped paper nests that can be up to 14 inches (35 cm) in diameter and 23 inches (60 cm) in length. They are aggressive if they feel threatened and will sting repeatedly.

They built this nest in a lilac bush near our house. Fortunately, we were able to coexist without causing each other any harm…