European hornets are closely related to Japanese hornets and are the only true hornet in North America. They are very large, at approximately 1.5 inches in length, with a yellow and brown striped abdomen and a reddish orange-looking body. They build their nests inside of hollow trees and can also be found inside man-made structures. Overall, they are not very common. In some places such as Germany it is illegal to kill a European hornet nest.
European hornets feed on large insects and have been known to deplete entire honey bee colonies. While doing a honey bee removals, I have actually seen these hornets come and carry off honey bees.