A telephone enquirer found this wasp nest in his shed. He was a little concerned for his welfare when the nest becomes larger and more active later in the year.
The wasp is in fact the largest social wasp found in the UK, the Hornet, Vespa crabro. She is tending her embryo nest, which she has built from wood pulp entirely by herself. You can see the brood cells which already contain the first cohort of workers. She will be feeding these with macerated insect prey for a few more weeks yet. When they have fully developed into adult worker hornets they will continue to build this nest as she remains within it and continues to lay more eggs.
Although the Hornet has always been found throughout much of the UK it is being seen more frequently in towns and cities. Our changing climate is likely to be reason for the recent success of this species; early springs and mild winters extending the length of their operational season.
Despite their formidable appearance hornets tend to be less aggressive than our other species of social wasp; their sting is also said to be no more severe. Though I have not experienced this first hand.
Well not necessarily - I reiterate my last point:
"Despite their formidable appearance hornets tend to be less aggressive than our other species of social wasp; their sting is also said to be no more severe. Though I have not experienced this first hand"
Yes. Why would you want to kill it in the first place? There are enough other methods of getting it out of a room.
Most animals will start to defend themselves when being attacked, no matter whether they are a cute bunny, a dog or an insect. That's not an indication on their aggressiveness or whether they pose a danger to humans.
In Germany and Austria they are actually protected.
I've been close to hornets and hornets' nests (in treestumps) several times to have a look and take photos. They usually didn't even show any interest (though I know they might get defensive close to the nest), whereas field wasps, for example, will start going into defensive positions straight away and watch what you are up to and might even attack when you pass close by (as happened to my husband).