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My young daughter and I were truly staggered by an enormous wasp today that fleew past us and then proceeded to inspect a burnt out Oak tree for some fifteen minutes before leaving.
We have spent a good deal of time on the internet to try and identify it but can't come up with anything.
It was truly enormous... approx 6/7cm... honestly ! The colourings were amazing.
Can anyone help? Is it the Queen of an ordinary species?
What you've found here is a (european) hornet (vespa crabro) - indeed a giant wasp, Europe's largest social wasp. It nests in hollow trees, as well as other cavities. Brilliant aren't they?!
If 4cm/5cm it could be a queen - an expert at NH museum may be able to confirm from the pic. The new queens hibernate over winter, including in hollow trees. Other hornets die off around October.
Here's some more information