Do hornets make honey? This is one of the trendy questions as far as honey is concerned. Indeed, this is a tough question to answer, especially if you don’t know anything about beekeeping or whatsoever.
Dramatically, everyone knows that bees make honey, but what about them. What relationship do hornets have in common with the honey bees? Well, there are so many interesting facts about them which most of us don’t have an idea about. In this article, I will be discussing things you should know about them which will help answer our question; “Do hornets make honey?”
What are hornets? What is the difference between bees, wasps, and hornets?
There are many differences between our little wing whipping friends, while at the same time, there are many characteristics they have in common. For starters, all of them stings you – which is ubiquitous characteristic.
They differ from bees in numerous ways. For instance, hornets and wasps don’t use the nectar to make the nectar in the way bees do. Also, they aren’t active throughout the whole year like honey bees, and even though the wasps tend to swarm feed – not the way the honey bees do. Their stings tend to be more deadly to humans – it’s advisable to keep your distance.
They are typically a subset of wasps. In particular, they are a breed of the social wasps living in enormous, exceedingly organized, colonies. They belong to the insect family referred to as Vespidae – this family comprises of each species of hornets and wasps as well, which include paper wasps, yellow jackets, pollen wasps, and potter wasps.
However, there is a significant difference between hornets and wasps, and that’s their size. They are moderately larger than the wasps – which is one of the primary reasons they’re so scary.
Additionally, they’re predatory insects just like the regular wasps, only that they predate on larger insects. Plus, they are typically larger, more dangerous, and stronger than other forms of wasps. In fact, they’ll attack normal wasp nests and kill the adult wasps. And they then raid the nests and take the wasp’s larvae back to their own nests as the food source for their young.
That’s not all; they aren’t as aggressive as you might think. Just like most nest-building insects, they usually attack to defend their colonies when they feel like they are being threatened. That’s mainly when something or someone comes within a proximity of their nest. At other times, they are known to be pretty passive creatures. Some researchers have realized that they are usually shy, peaceful creatures, and only attacks when they have to.
Also, you should be aware that when they sting you, it can hurt worse than the wasp sting. The reason being they usually leave more venom in their victims. You better watch out, because if you make them mad enough, they can mobilize their entire colony just to come after you if they’re defending their nests.
They are commonly widespread and are found in North America, Africa, Europe, and Asian. The Asian hornets are native to China and Japan but have colonized other countries as the invasive species. Dramatically, they systematically kill bees for their nectar; sometimes destroying entire hives just for larvae and honey. For instance, about 30 Asian hornets can destroy a colony of 10,000 bees within a few hours. In a fight of hornets verses bees, the hornets being excellent predators, they always win.
So, where do they create their nests?
Well, that depends on the species. They typically like building their nests in high areas – these include attics, treetops, under roofs, decking, sheds, garages, hollow tree trunks, and in other areas which are raised off the ground. The nests are large and are shaped-liked a “football.” They comprise of straight combs that hang it tiers and are connected to one another. The combs incorporate a lot of chambers or cells for larvae and eggs. The nests are generally surrounded by layers of papery materials which insulates the structure. Just like yellow jackets and wasps, they typically make this paper themselves by chewing on small slivers of wood.
Some hornet nests that are sometimes elevated tend to be free-hanging using the stalk referred to as a petiole – which accords to the nearest object, like a tree branch. Sometimes they’ll build their nests in an enclosed spot which offer support and security – mostly on an abandoned, old rodent burrows.
What about their colonies?
Queen is the only member of the hornet colonies which reproduces. Most of them in the territory are workers – the worker prepares the nest and also feeds the young, and even protects their colony from danger. That’s not all, the males mate with the new queens and die soon afterward. That’s why you’ll find only a few makes in the colony.
In temperate climates, however, hornet nests are inhabited for just one year. The males, the workers, and the season’s queens typically die in the autumn – only the new queens survive and hibernate through the winter.
So, do hornets make honey?
Do hornets make honey? Honey bees produce it by collecting the nectar from numerous flowers. Honey has many benefits, such as sour honey. But when it comes to hornets, they don’t typically create their own version of honey. What they have are hornet nests where they can store it, which is needed for the short period of time. Furthermore, in comparison with the honey bees, they save only a tiny amount. Although there are some species which makes honey, in very tiny quantity – to an extension, humans don’t harvest their nectar for human consumption.
Hunting is the only way they produce their own version. Since these are carnivores (or predators), they usually feed on larvae and small insects – which is a very unusual way.
They have potent jaws and very strong, which is why they can catch their prey, tear them into a half, and fly them back to their nest. In fact, they don’t store anything – their paper-like combs are merely used to rear the hornet larvae. It’s typically made when the larvae use their tummies to turn the exoskeletons of those insects nurtured to them into a sugary secretion. Then, they provide this back to the fully grown ones to sustain them.
As you can see, we cannot precisely say if do hornets make honey. They are predators and only relies on their prey to get the nectar they need for the season. Hope this article helped you to learn if do hornets make honey.