Re cycling

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Re cycling
« on: December 08, 2015, 09:13:23 AM »
Two years ago we had calabrone, as they are known in Italy, (large hornets ) making a nest in our Tobacco Tower. Locals urged us to destroy the nest but as the said building is only used for storage and the activity was high up in one corner causing no problems we decided to " live and let live" When winter came all activity stopped and we were told that the hornets would all die although the queen might find a safe place to hibernate and then be ready to start a new colony - the old nest would not be used again.The summer of 2014 saw no activity.  The bottom of the nest had been destroyed somewhat - mice? - but we left it in situ because visitors were interested to see it knowing there were no hornets about.
This summer I began to hear humming noises whenever I went to get something from the tower and realised that the nest was receiving attention. Over the weeks the bottom was repaired and extended to quite a degree and a mild autumn saw this activity continue until a week or so ago. A continuous stream of hornets would enter the building through a gap at the side of an unglazed, but shuttered window, proceed to the nest to deposit their building material and then leave by the gap on the opposite side of the window.
Now all is quiet again but we have this beautiful extended nest with its intricate form.
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.