Habitat of Hornets

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Habitat of Hornets
Hornets are closely related to yellow jackets. (Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

A hornet, a variety of wasp, is a member of the scientific family Vespidae, genus Vespa. Encompassing 20 species, hornets grow up to 1.25 inches in length. Their habitats are distributed throughout the world. These omnivores have an average lifespan of several months; they make their homes in diverse habitats.

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Nests

Hornet nests consist of a paperlike substance derived from wood pulp acquired from boards and other wood-based material and saliva. The construction of hornet nests begins with the queen hornets; the nests are built to accommodate their eggs. Initially, a cell is created to hold a single egg. The queen methodically constructs a comb to build herself out. Tiers are added to the nest by worker hornets thereafter. Nests frequently are found hanging in trees and on the sides of buildings within various environments including urban areas, farmlands, parklands, brownfield sites, woodlands and forests.

Urban Areas

Urban habitats are environments predominately driven by human activities and construction. These habitats encompass cities, towns and peripherally related landscapes, such as landfills. Hornets and other animals adapt to the urban settings, capitalising on the abundance of food sources and heat.

Farmlands

Farmland is a patchwork of natural fields that have been fundamentally altered for agricultural purposes. Because farmland is heavily managed, these areas historically have seen a steady decline of habitation by numerous species of animals, including hornets. However, restorative measures have been incorporated back into many farmlands, such as adding ponds and meadows to rejuvenate a natural balance of wildlife and industry.

Brownfield Sites

Brownfield sites are abandoned commercial or industrial landscapes--including areas of defunct railway lines and factories. Because the sites no longer have human activity, a variety of insect and animal species, such as hornets, move in and stake a claim to the environment.

Parklands

Parklands are managed small-scale open grasslands, with a dispersal of mature trees. Varying greatly in size and plant life, parklands are maintained by private and public organisations. These areas are homes to a wide array of insects, including hornets.

Woodlands and Forests

Hornets are found in many woodlands and forests, such as oakwoods, broadleaved forests and coniferous forests.

Oak woods are natural landscapes heavily dominated by birch, rowan, holly and oak trees. Wildflowers and wood anemones are prevalent in the spring. Broadleaved forests consist of highly diverse wide-leaved vegetation, such as maple, oak and laurel trees, and other deciduous trees and dense undergrowth. Coniferous forests primarily showcase cone-bearing, scale or needle-leaved, evergreen trees, such as pine and larch, with sporadic occurrences of broad-leaf trees.

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