European Hornet aka Giant Hornet (Vespa crabro)
Found dead on the deck. View of top. This species was introduced to NY in the mid-1800s. Well established in the NE, they are expandign their range to the NW and S. At up to an inch long (18-25 mm) they are much larger than yellowjackets. Average nests hold 200-400 workers and are built in hollow trees and other cavities. Workers are active day and night and may be attracted to lights at night. Adults prey on a variety of insects, sometimes raiding beehives to rob honey and drink nectar. Larva feeds on insects pre-chewed by adults. It defends its nest from intruders but otherwise avoids confrontations when possible.