How Long Do Hornets Live?

Umberto Salvagnin/CC-BY-2.0

The average lifespan of hornets in the wild is several months. The average length of a hornet is 1.25 inches. Hornets are classified as insects and are omnivorous. A group of hornets is referred to as a grist or hive.

Hornets are wasps of the genus Vespa and are related to the yellowjacket family. There are approximately 20 different species of hornets. Most of these species reside in tropical parts of Asia, but hornets are also found in Europe, Africa and North America. Queens lead hornet hives and are the only females that reproduce. Most hornets are asexual females and there are typically few males. The main purpose of the male hornet is to mate with the queen.