Should You Destroy Hornet Nests?
Ok, ok, ok... I know this is a beekeeping forum and that this is completely off topic. Still I thought I might find some good opinions from this group on this question.
I have discovered a couple of large nests of bald-faced hornets (Dolichovespula maculata) growing in the apple trees in my orchard. They are pretty much out of the way of most human and domestic activity and pose a low risk to children, neighbors and pets.
I have experienced (and satisfied) the overwhelming urge to destroy these nests on sight.
However in doing some reading on hornets, I find myself tempted to consider them beneficial to my garden and property. They kill lots of pests, serve as prey for wildlife and so long as I'm aware of them, don't really pose much of a problem.
So what do you think? Are hornets generally a dangerous species that should be eliminated from my property?
One note I'll add to confoud the issue is that I am simultaneously enjoying the presence of a feral colony of honeybees which resides a few hundred feet away from the nearest hornet nest. Do hornets commit significant predation on honeybees? Is this anything to worry about?
I want to give in to the strong male impulse to throw rocks at the big basketball sized nests... follow up with some BB gun fire and perhaps even some pyrotechnics. What's the right, responsible, environmentally friendly thing to do?
Here is a link that might be useful: Bald-Faced Hornets