By Ellie Duncombe
A pest control worker has filmed a hornet chewing its way out of its incubation cell in a bid to show the beauty of the insects.
Kevin Wiener, 42, from Evansville, Indiana, USA, captured extreme close-ups of the bald-faced hornets as it makes it first journey into the world.
In the footage the cream, white and orange insect slowly gnaws through the brood cell that it spent over a week inside developing into an adult.
The insect, known scientifically as Dolichovespula Mculata, slowly rubs its legs together and break free so it can begin life.
Kevin discovered the hornet beginning to emerge from broken segments of a nest that he believed had been knocked down and was inactive.
He documented the insect activity in the hope of changing people’s opinions about what creatures are deemed ‘pests’, including the bald face hornets, who he says are defensive and not aggressive.
Kevin said: “When I retrieved the pieces of the nest, I noticed movement in a couple of the brood cells.
“So, I decided to get some documentation on camera since this is not an occurrence one would normally see since it takes place in an enclosed nest.
“The brood cell is totally closed off until the new adult wasp is ready to emerge, where they chew away at the cover over the cell and eventually come out where their wings take shape and then they can fly out into the world to do waspy things.
“In the video, you are witnessing a bald-faced hornet chewing at the cell covering, in an effort to emerge into the world.
“I’m not sure how long the process takes since I didn’t witness the whole process, but I’d imagine it can take several hours.
“This is the first time I’ve witnessed this type of event other than in videos, so it was a real treat to see with my own eyes.
“I try to learn as much as I can about these animals and immerse myself in their world when I can to document them to not only study their behaviour but capture moments that show their beauty.
“I then share with others my experience to help alleviate fears, dispel common myths or old wives’ tales, and share what science has to say about these creatures.”
Kevin, a self-professed outdoors and nature lover, is passionate about small creatures including spiders and insects.
As a pest control worker of seven years, he claims to see a lot of ‘perceived pests’ that are actually harmless.
He hopes to educate others and changes their beliefs about bugs, insects and small creatures, as well as highlighting their contributions to the environment and mankind.
Kevin said: “In the case of this Bald-faced hornet, Dolichovespula maculata, there can be a potential concern as a pest if it’s in very close proximity to human dwellings, work areas, or gathering places.
“The Bald-faced hornet is not a true hornet, but an aerial yellowjacket. Like any social wasp species – yellowjackets, hornets, paper wasps – these are defensive not aggressive of their nests.
“When one gets too close to the nest, it can put them on alert potentially causing one to get stung.
“If one were to have an allergy to the venom in the sting, it can cause severe reactions if stung.
“In most cases, these wasps build their nest high in trees where they are of no concern to humans, these are the cases where they deserve respect and should really be left alone to play out their role in the environment.
“My goal is to pass on a little education to help the customer understand the nature of the insect or spider of their concern.”