A hornet nest inside our skyfort playset struck terror in my heart. I had never seen a nest like it and when the kids told me there was a large nest, I knew we needed a refresher lesson on adjectives. I think ginormous, terrifyingly huge, or impressively horrifying would have been more appropriate. The only picture I have of the full intact nest is from a bad cell phone shot so the scaling isn't great, but it was about the size of a human head. Here's a glimpse-
I enlisted a friend with extra strength spray and experience ridding the world of terrifying beasts and he dispatched the nest. Once the nest was neutralized and my fear was back to a normal level (about a can and a half of spray later), the fun science began. Here's what I learned:
• Watching a hornet's tail end move as it dies is kind of sad but also extremely cool.
• The knowledge that it could still inflict pain after it was dead helped remove some of the sadness.
• Larvae in the nest is so cool, and creepy.
• The papery outer shell of the nest is fragile. And bee spit. Eww.
• The larvae kept moving after the comb was down and it was cool to see the various stages but also very gross.
• It's very awesome to have a friend that will not only help kill the nest, but also knock it down and explain what all the insides are and how wasps function.
Here are some pics from our adventure-
And in case you're wondering, yes, we kept some hornets and one grubby larva to look at under the microscope.