Trivia question for Apr-07-2011

Posted on Apr 7, 2011 in Trivia

Normally Olivia would not have found this insect to be that interesting but as she studied for her trivia, she found a few facts about these Hornets that she feels are worthy of our trivia game.  Let’s see how she did.

The Hornet nest is founded in spring by a fertilized female known as the queen. It generally selects sheltered places like dark hollow tree trunks. It first builds a series of cells (up to 50) out of chewed tree bark. The cells are arranged in horizontal layers named combs, each cell being vertical and closed at the top. An egg is then laid in each cell. After 5–8 days, the egg hatches, and in the next two weeks, the larva undergoes its five stages.

During this time, the queen feeds in a protein-rich diet of insects. Then, the larva spins a silk cap over the cell’s opening and, during the next two weeks, transforms into an adult, a process called metamorphosis. Then, the adult eats its way through the silk cap. This first generation of workers, invariably females, will now gradually undertake all the tasks that were formerly carried out by the queen (foraging, nest building, taking care of the brood, etc.) with one exception: egg-laying, which remains exclusive to the queen

Here are Olivia’s questions: Tell us why worker Hornet’s die in the winter, also tell us why Hornet’s nests are often reddish-brown while most wasps nests are gray?  And finally, upon waking in spring, what is the first thing a queen does before building a colony?

Good Luck 😉


Congratulations to Miranda for being the first with the correct answers.  Great job.  Unlike bees, the hornet does not store food in the nest.  That is why worker hornets die in the winter.  Their nests are typically reddish-brown because they collect wood fibers from old oak trees.

Upon waking in spring, a queen feeds on nectar before building a colony.  A hornet’s sting is painful to humans, but the sting toxicity varies greatly by hornet species.  Some deliver just a typical insect sting, while others are among the most venomous known insects.  Allergic reactions, fatal in severe cases, can occur; an individual suffering from anaphylactic shock may die unless treated immediately via epinephrine (“adrenaline”) injection.

Here is more on these productive insects: Hornets

Thanks for playing along 😉