Bee's nest inside of an old Silver Maple tree
Greetings, In the attached pictures, you are looking at about a 4" hole in what is about a 3 or 4 foot diameter tree trunk. 3 of these large trunks come together to make the entire tree. I do not know what type of bees these are but they range from about 1.25" to 2+". They seem to generally be docile in nature as they didn't seem to mind my putting my cell phone within a few inches of the nest in order to get these pictures. I am interested in learning what kind of bees these are and (unfortunately) what the best way is to get rid of them without harming the tree. Thank you for your time, PS - If you want more pictures, just ask.
Montgomery County Maryland
The bees look like European hornets. The nest looks like it is in the tree and will not hurt the tree. A wasp and hornet spray can be toxic to plants and we do not recommend using it. If you can stay away from the tree and the insects are not a threat, then leave them alone. The workers will die out after the first several hard frosts and the queen will overwinter elsewhere. Here is more on the European hornet. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/european-hornets