Back at the sapping birch for the European Hornet
During the weekend I made two trips to the sapping birch to take photos of the European Hornet.
The European Hornet is the largest eusocial wasp in Europe. Sadly their reputation is far from true as they are not as aggressive as folklore say. They generally avoid conflict and normally only sting if they defend their nest or if they are grabbed or stepped upon. They might be aggressive around food, but as long as they don’t see you as a threat then you will be fine.
I don’t say things can’t happen, but I have now spent a couple of hours together with the European Hornet feeling completely safe. I have been as close as one meter without a problem and this is around a food source. Normally I just walk up to the birch. When I find my photo angle I just seat myself on the ground becoming an object for them.
I must stress that I would not do this if I knew I get an allergic response from their sting. My feeling is that the activity has increased at the birch. This is probably due to less sap being released. That means next session, if I go there again, could mean something different in behavior. Still I think that you can approach this gentle wasp easily. They surely do a lot of good as they eat many species of insects that is considered a pest in your garden. The Hornet is a carnivore.
So what was my aim with the visits this time? Well I wanted to improve on my European Hornet portfolio and see if I could find more interesting subjects to photo. That is why I also visited two new places not far from the European Hornet place. One for butterflies and one for dragonflies. They both gave me some pictures even if the windy conditions were not optimal for any type insect photography to be honest.
The main objective for me was to capture the interesting behavior that I saw the first time there, but didn’t manage to capture. I feel I captured these moments this time and actually got more interesting photos than I expected. Still it is really a hit-or-miss when you work with active insects. If you think birds are hard, then please feel free to try insect photography. It is not easy that is sure.
Please enjoy the gallery.