The Asian Hornet
The Asian hornet is an invasive species which slaughter about 50 bees a day to feed their larvae...
They pose a tremendous threat to honey bees and other pollinators.
It is slightly smaller than the European hornet, but it makes a very loud buzzing noise which drew my attention to it in the first place.
They hover near the honey bees hive and pluck them out of the air on their return to their hive. They first remove the wings and legs, then roll them up into ball, which they then carry to their own nest to feed their larvae.
The Asian hornet is a day-flying species, which unlike the European hornet, ceases activity at dusk.
Mostly dark brown in appearance with the wide orange band on the forth segment, and yellow legs.
The nest is suspended, spherical or oval in shape, and can be as large as 1 metre in height, and 80 cm in diameter, I would say that the one in the shed was 60cm x 60cm.
It is built by making paper mâché made from chewed tree and plant material, and when finished the hive population reaches about 6,000 insects. It was situated near enough to our foreman's house to cause him concern.
Unlike the European hornet, where the entrance to the nest is at the bottom of the nest, the entrances are at the sides, I tried to get closer shots of the entrance, but as the hornets were in constant movement they came out all blurry.
A couple of photos of sections of the nest.