Giant hornets are among the world’s largest and deadliest hornets, which might explain why they’re so revered in the parts of Asia they’re endemic to. But like most hornet species, every nest has its queen, and it’s the queen that establishes the nest in the first place.
The queen is the largest and strongest female in the nest, sporting powerful jaws for close-quarters combat, and a stinger that no human ever wants to contend with. She possesses massive eyes for a wide field of vision, and massive wings that support her weight and her precious cargo – in this case, that’s an abdomen chock-full of eggs that will one day hatch into larvae.
In this video, we see a giant hornet queen bent on starting her new empire. Flying at speeds of up to 50 kilometers per hour, she will travel dozens of kilometers every day until she finds the ideal nesting place. When she does, she begins crafting her nest and laying her first eggs. After that, it’s all down to luck on whether her nest survives and flourishes or not.
Unfortunately for the queen in this footage, she picked a particularly vulnerable place to lay her eggs. When a nasty thunderstorm brews, the nearby river begins to churn, eventually flooding her newly built nest. She’s left with no other choice but to abandon her nest and her larvae to survive.
Although the queen lost her larvae in the flood, it’s not the end of her story. She’ll learn from her mistakes and eventually set up a nest in another place, hopefully further away from potential dangers like those exhibited here. Unfortunately for the locals, that means a giant hornet nest will flourish, and they’ll need to practice extreme caution to avoid being stung.
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