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Hornets are nesting in an old bell we have hung on our back porch. We'd noticed hornets flying around it for a few days and late last night I shone a flashlight into it (without touching it) and saw a few dozen (at least) of their shiny bodies clinging to the wooden clapper.
I've read that hornets can actually be beneficial, preying on more destructive bugs so I don't object to them in general. I'm really not happy about their being so close to the back door, to the feral cat we feed on the porch, and we do go in and out pretty often.
If I can think of a place to re-locate the bell, I'd be up for moving it if there was a safe way to do it. Does anyone have any suggestions?
I got rid of them a few years back when they decided to start a nest in between support bars on my back gate. This is the time to do it before the eggs hatch & they become aggressive. First remove the nest inside by scraping it out of the bell. Suggest you do this at night & use an insect repellent (not insecticide) to get the live hornets out. When they're out, remove the nest (should be cell like structures) by scraping it out. Unfortunately this will kill the eggs inside but there's enough time for the hornets to move & construct a new nest.Then spray insect repellent inside & outside the bell as they home in on pheromones that they put on the bell to mark it as home. You may have to repeat this but they will move out.
If you really want to get rid of them in a less humane manner, you can always use a shop vac to vacuum them out at night or dawn when they're all in the nest.
Whichever way you use consider covering yourself up to avoid possible stings.
Useful article http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Rid-of-Hornets