a hornets' nest

hornet's nest

1. A dangerous, complicated situation. If we do invade, I fear that we will find ourselves in a real hornet's nest.
2. A situation that produces angry reactions. The politician's off-the-cuff remark about pollution stirred up a hornet's nest among environmentalists.
See also: nest

a hornets' nest

a situation fraught with trouble, opposition, or complications.
1992 New Scientist The notion of these ‘life patents’ has opened up a hornets' nest of moral, legal, social and scientific concerns.
See also: nest
References in periodicals archive ?
Tamsin Harman was walking Reggie, her cavalier King Charles spaniel, in woods off Stuart Place when he discovered something interesting to sniff - a hornets' nest.
While such incidents are rare, it caused local councils to warn people with bee allergies to be extremely cautious and to seek help when they discover a hornets' nest.
I KNOW this may stir up a hornets' nest but I still really admire Rooney.
Charitable choice raises a hornets' nest of policy and constitutional problems in providing welfare services; adding it to education programs is truly misguided," said Barry W.
BRISTOL City's faint hopes of an end-of-season play-off place were finally wrecked after they'd stirred up a hornets' nest at Chesterfield.
THE Archbishop of Canterbury has stirred up a hornets' nest with his assertion that Britain must accept the introduction of some form of Islamic sharia law.