Closer inspection reveals a papery exterior not unlike that of a wasps nest: in fact, it is the home of the Asian Hornet - vespa velutina.
I estimate that its dimensions are approximately 75cm high by 45 cm across and it is home to a bee killer, known here in France as, La Frelon Asiatique.
This article in the Telegraph - Tourists warned as Asian hornets terrorise French - explains a bit about how the hornet arrived and the its spread through south-west France.
I first saw one of these nests about eighteen months ago in an ash tree just ten minutes walk from here - and visible from my back door. At the time I wondered it was the work of an exotic bird or perhaps it was a red squirrels dray? - I thought no more of it until a week ago when I stopped to chat to my neighbour, Danielle Bertrand.
He asked my if I had noticed the nest, to which I replied yes (we are not sure how long it's been there but it was only really apparent when the leaves fell in the autumn).
There are now three nests within a ten minute walk from me and all of them are visible.
He went on to explain that French farmers locally are worried because a small group of Asian Hornets are capable of wiping out a honey bee colony in a matter of hours as they seek out the honey and the honey bee larvae, to feed themselves and their own young.
Watch the video below to appreciate how 30 hornets can massacre 30,000 honey bees in three hours - one can understand why bee keepers and farmers are so worried.
The Lot et Garonne is dependant on the honey bee to pollinate the plum tree - the area is a specially designated area by Europe because of the world renowned Agen Prune.