We come across all kinds of taxidermied animals, but this is a unique find. Who would have thought that you could taxidermy a hornet’s nest? It’s actually rather simple though – once the hornets are gone, of course.
Hornet’s nests are paper-like, made of chewed wood fiber mixed with saliva. It’s almost like papier-mâché.
It turns out that hornet’s nests are commonly displayed in homes, museums and other places you want to scare the crap out of anyone who knows what the hell they’re looking at.
So the first thing to do before you preserve a hornets nest is to go get one. They’re not too difficult to find, actually. When you see a hornet, follow it to it’s nest. If it’s in a tree, climb the tree and just pull the nest off. This may of course take some shaking and may piss off the hornets. That’s perfectly fine and expected. You can also expect to get the holy crap stung out of you by a million+ angry hornets. (See Google Images of Hornet Stings here.)
After you’ve been stung, getting out of the tree will be a piece of cake, because your organs will begin failing, then you will just pass out and fall to the ground… hopefully. If you stay stuck in the tree, it’s basically all over for you.
“The easiest method of collecting a nest is to wait until after the hornets have abandoned the nest in the fall (after the first hard freeze or by late October). Hornet nests are annual; they last one summer and all occupants freeze or die of old age in the fall. Collect the nest as soon as possible because exposed, unprotected nests are subject to destruction by wildlife and weather. Collecting a nest in summer requires a degree of boldness. During the coolest part of the night and with the least disturbance possible, rapidly slip a large plastic bag over the nest. Close the bag around the limb above the nest. Tie the bag shut and cut the limb from the tree. Kill the hornets by placing the entire bag in a freezer overnight.”
There really isn’t much to preserving the nest. In fact, once the nest is empty, if it’s displayed in a coll, dry area, it will last indefinitely.