Hornets are the largest of the social wasps.

Geographic Region

European hornets are found throughout Europe, Russia, North America and Northeast Asia.

Natural Habitat

Hornets can often be found feeding on the sap of oak trees, rotting sweet fruits, honey and any foods containing sugar.

Weather Conditions

Hornets prefer hot, dry weather conditions. Overwintering queens are the only members of the colony that survive winter.


Hornets aggressively guard their nesting sites when threatened. Their stings are more painful to humans than typical wasp stings because of the neurotransmitter chemical in their venom .

Unique Characteristics

Hornets make aerial nests rather than subterranean nests.

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