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The hornet box is specifically designed to maximise the chance of colonisation and can also be used for transferring colonies. Hornets are important in maintaining the correct natural balance in many environments. Although they feed on nectar, fruit and sap, they also feed their young with live insects and larvae. A normal swarm of hornets can feed as much as a half kilo of insects such as horseflies, craneflies and caterpillars, to their young. They are also important in controlling serious pests such as the bark beetle.
The hornet box is best sited on the edges of woodland glades and clearings, and on the fringes of woodlands. The chosen site should ideally be secluded with the box entry and exit points free of branches. Position at least 4 m above ground level with the entrance hole facing south-east to south-west. If installing multiple boxes, ensure each box is at least 100 m apart to avoid competition between colonies.
The box is likely to be occupied from May until mid-summer, but leave the nest in place over the winter as it provides an ideal refuge for other useful pest controllers such as lacewings. The box must be cleared out each March/April in preparation for the summer.
* Due to a decline in numbers, and also because of their usefulness, hornets have legal protection in many countries.
* Hornets only sting in acute cases of self-defence (i.e. if they themselves are being directly attacked).
* Their sting is no more dangerous than that of a bee.
Box material: Schwegler wood-concrete; an exceedingly durable, rot-proof and breathable natural material designed to mimic the properties of natural nest sites.
Dimensions: height = 60 cm, width = 28 cm, depth = 25 cm.
Weight: approx. 14.5 kg.