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European hornet facts for kids

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European hornet
Queen (top), worker (middle) and male (bottom) of the germana subspecies
Scientific classification

The European hornet (Vespa crabro) is a large eusocial wasp in Europe. It is the only true hornet in North America. European hornets are usually known as pests by humans who come in contact with them.

They are known for making nests out of plant material and other fibers to create paper nests.

This species stings in response to being stepped on or grabbed. However, they usually avoid conflict. They are also defensive of their hive. They are sometimes aggressive around food sources.

European hornets eat large insects, mostly wasps and large bees.

Care should be taken, because the hornets may sting without warning. The pain from the sting may persist for a few days with swelling.

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