HORNETS

Harry Green

Many hornets were seen in Worcestershire summer 2003 and we should like records please. Hornets have been seen most often in west Worcestershire in the recent past with fewer records towards the east. This year there have been far more about, for example there were several nests in Grafton Wood (where it had not been recorded before) and several were watched drinking at a small stream in Elmley Castle Deer Park. If you saw any last summer please sent your records to the WBRC either by post or email records@wbrc.org.uk <mailto:records@wbrc.org.uk>.

I noticed the following in an article by Paul Whitehead which might interest readers! I quote:

I have two confirmed records of hornets killing horses. The first of these, observed by Mr G. Grove, took place at Berry Wormington, Gloucestershire (SP 03) during July 1933, when workmen loading manure into a horse-drawn cart were noted making a swift retreat across open countryside. Hornets from a nest disturbed in the large pile of straw and organic matter attacked the head of the horse, paying particular attention to the orbital areas. An attending vet gave the cause of death as 'shock'. During 1960, a hornet's nest was disturbed whilst dismantling a large stack of wooden plum crates at Great Comberton, Worcestershire (SO 94) on land owned by the late Mr R. Depper. On that occasion also, a nearby horse was killed as a result of hornet stings.

Reference

WHITEHEAD PF 2001 Observations on the hornet Vespa crabro L. (Hym., Vespidae) in England. Entomologistís Monthly Magazine 137:137

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