|Adult Size||3 digits|
Becoming more prevalent with the cultivation of lumenfruit, marchbread hornets have a diet that consists solely of the luminous fruit. They gnaw at the fruiting bodies, choosing only optimal parts of each individual fruits, then fly it back to their ligneous nests , where they regurgitate it into cells and cap it with a wax produced from specialized glands. This slurry ferments into a foamy dough, referred to as marchbread mash, which they use to feed their young.
This causes an ever growing issue with lumenfruit plantations, where the hornets can build to large populations given unfettered access to formerly uncommon fruit. Given that possess a toxic sting that can cause seizures, this can lead to entire plantations being closed off if the problem is allowed to escalate.
Marchbread hornets come in 3 archetypes. The female queens, the female workers and the male drones. Being raised from larvae inside hives and relying entirely on the efficiency of the hive to provide for their needs, they eventual enter a pupae stage at around 10 days of age, and after a period of 10 further days, become adults.
The amount of marchbread mash they are fed as infants determines their gender and the role they will play in the hive, with nurses doubling as guards and being fed the most after the females and male breeding stock, and the generic workers being fed the least.
Female queens live the longest up to a total of 200 days, with the males living the shortest, around 15 days of adulthood, only partaking in one nuptial flight before departing to live solitary lives until they die.
Typically when a queen dies a new descendant queen will move into the old hive. occasionally multiple queens will move into a single hive if it is large enough, with the largest hive on record(called the crownhive by entomologists) possessing 18 total queens. This hive inheritance, coupled with the fact that a single queen can lay up to 2000 eggs in her short lifetime can result in enormous hives. The crownhive, measuring 13 cubits across, resulted the land surrounding half a castle being evacuated as the stinging menace spread.
Marchbread mash, when harvested from abandoned hives in time, can be combined with a mixed of flour and fermented further, then rolled into thin cakes and gently smoked with [glitterwood]. This process creates [Marchbread] a coveted ration. A wafer thin serving the size of ones palm can feed a marching soldier bearing a heavy load for a full day.
Marchbread, when stored properly, will also keep indefinitely. These properties and the danger inherent in its harvesting make marchbread a very valuable commodity and even considered a store of wealth to some. Many wealthy houses stockpile what they can in preparation of potential war.