Monday, December 20, 2010

Hornets in the Doorway

Do you like hornets? I do and I can tell you why.

You will soon understand why I try to break a stone for these wonderful insects. The silk scroll (see below) is an hommage to an insect which has a very bad reputation due to many myths which need to be rectified. Exaggerated stories of hornet attacks and the effect of their stings such as "Seven hornet stings kill a horse, three an adult and two a child" simply belong to that world of fairy tales. Such myths which exist for generations have led to the hornet becoming an endangered species in many areas of Central Europe, due to merciless human pursuit.

43" x 24", silk scroll

©Petra Voegtle

Hornets belong to the most useful insects at all. While most people seem to be afraid of them because of misinformation there is absolutely not need for this. Bees and wasps can be much more dangerous and aggressive. Hornets are peaceful insects as long as one doesn't behave like an idiot and tries to remove their nests. When you have a hornet nest in your garden you should call yourself a lucky person because then you won't have any problems with wasps and other stinging insects such as moskitos and gadflies.

They buzz - this is probably making people nervous. But you should not be. It's a sound that is much more peaceful than the angry barking of your neighbour's dog. Hornets will not attack you and try to eat the jam on your roll or dirsturb your coffee party - they do not eat sugar or other artificial sweets.

Hornets are incredible architects. They build their little palaces with a craftmanship and esthetics that hardly can be compared to anything else from the world of insects. They are real interior designers.

(image source:

(image source:

Some time ago some rare wood wasps built a nest outside the window of my mom's house. It was at a place that was not a problem. So I had the opportunity to take the wonderful material they created for the nest into my hands after they had all left. It is very similar to the one hornets are creating. I have added some photos I made from pieces of a wasp nest, photographed against light so that you can admire the structures and patterns of these incredible architects:

photography ©Petra Voegtle

And where would I hang the scroll? This doorway would be perfect for hanging this scroll although the original piece of art looks marvellous too. I especially like the connection to wood...

But wouldn't it bring even more luck to you to have this scroll hanging in your house?


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