Look what I found in the grass. It is a European Hornet. This one was a little bit scary. Although she was crawling about in the grass she kept doing little short flights straight at me and when she took off she was really noisy. BUZZ! She didn’t chase me, just kept pushing me back when I got too close but I wanted to take her photo.
I find these animals really hard to photograph they normally run away before I can get near to them.
It is just a big Wasp really. they are all the same family Vespidae but while our Common Wasp was genus Vespula and our Saxon Wasp was Dolichovespula The Hornet is genus Vespa. A genus is just a sub-division of a family. There are quite a few different types of Hornet belonging to that genus and most of them are bigger and meaner than this one.
A Hornet is not more aggressive than a Common Wasp, generally they are a lot less aggressive and the sting is no worse than a Wasp’s. I have just read that it only takes three stings from a Hornet to kill a Man and seven to kill a Horse, that is nonsense, it would take at least eight to kill a proper Horse.
Smile, I want to take your photograph.
If you are interested there is a lot of information about the European Hornet on this web site Hornets: Gentle Giants. That is, I believe a German web site. The European Hornet is a protected species in Germany and you can get a hefty fine for killing one or interfering with a nest.