2015 is the “Year of the Hornet Nest.” Unofficially, that is. 2015 is the year I photographed two large hornet nests at Huntley Meadows Park. Thanks to Noemi Camacho Peschard for sharing with the Huntley Meadows Park Community Facebook group her discovery of a large hornet nest located along Deer Trail, and thanks to an unknown birder for directing me to another large nest visible from the Visitor Center parking lot.
A large Bald-faced Hornet (Dolichovespula maculata) nest is/was located in the “drowned forest” alongside Deer Trail, approximately 100 yards beyond the end the boardwalk.
The nest is shaped like a football, only 1.5 to 2 times larger than a standard size game ball! Its texture reminds me of marbled paper.
The following photo shows two hornets on the nest: one entering the nest; another preparing to leave the nest.
A week later, there were no signs of life at the hornet nest.
By mid-November, fall foliage was past peak and the hornet nest was a shell of its former existence.
Visitor Center parking lot
The other hornet nest is/was located in a large tree, approximately 50 feet high, near the extra-long parking spaces for buses at the Visitor Center parking lot. The nest should be easier to spot now that the leaves have fallen from the deciduous tree in which it is located.
According to the experts on the BugGuide Facebook group, this is “most likely” a Bald-faced Hornet (Dolichovespula maculata) nest, although one member of group offered another opinion.
Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.