Bald Faced Hornet Nest
The Bald Faced Hornet is really a large yellow jacket. The insects abandon their nests every winter. Most of the creatures die with only the Queens overwintering. The next year, each Queen usually starts a new home by chewing plant material to form a paperlike substance. There thee lay their eggs. After about a month, the first workers are born and they take over everything but the egg production. The nests can get quite large. This one, however is a little smaller than my head.
Do not disturb if you observe insects around the nest. These creatures are highly protective of their homes and often attack if you come within 3 feet of their nest. The Hornets chase intruders sometimes for quite a distance and they can sting more than once unlike honey bees. Also the venom is different and can cause more severe reactions.
Abandoned nests covered can be preserved. I have seen a beautiful one cut from a tree with Autumn leaves still attached. The whole thing was sprayed with a shellac like substance and was several years old the last time I saw it. There are rumors of the preserved nests being valued for hundreds of dollars but I couldn’t find any listed on the web.
When uninhabited, I find them quite beautiful.