My son lives on the edge of a town in Northamptonshire but grew up in the wilds of Devon so is familiar with wildlife and a reasonably sober , accurate observer. Mid-August he found a bug eating his bird-table! He said it was orange and brown and resembled a Hornet but was the size of his middle finger...I asked him and he confirmed it was the size of all three joints. It was eating the edge of the bird table and he observed it remove a piece almost the size of a little finger...he could hear it's jaws crunching at the wood.This sounds to me like a Queen Hornet ( I have seen one in spring post-hibernation...it was formidable!!) but surely the Queen isn't out collecting wood pulp in August? My understanding is that at this time of year it has produced fertile offspring and is preparing to die and leave the fertilised females to over-winrter. Any suggestions?
Thanks for your reply. I will ask him but surely it is the larvae of sawflies which bore through wood not the adults. This insect was using it's large mandibles to noisily 'eat' the wood presumably to use for making wood-pulp for nest-building. That doesn't sound right for a sawfly to me. Still puzzled !!