Bald Faced Hornets!

This is an update to my July 5 post (Hornet)  about the fascinating hornet’s nest in our back yard. We had second thoughts about protecting the nest:

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Bald-Faced Hornet Nest (not ours)

Ryan, from Pete’s Pest Control, came over to take care of a Yellow jacket nest we had in the back yard. We used to take care of Yellowjackets ourselves but last year we started reacting to stings more intensely than before. More important, nobody gets stung when we call Pete’s!

Yellowjackets usually get aggressive later in the summer, but with the hot dry weather they started getting cranky in June this year.

Chatting with Ryan from Pete’s, I mentioned our hornet’s nest.

“They don’t seem to bother us if we stay away from the nest,” I said, “so I don’t need you to take care of them at this point.”

“They aren’t Bald-Faced Hornets, are they?” Ryan said.

“Well, I don’t know. I googled hornets and tried to figure out what they are, but they don’t seem to like me staring at the nest, so I didn’t hang around enough to get a good look!”

Ryan wandered over by the rhododendron where the hornet’s nest was. We carefully peeked at the nest in the middle of the bush.

“What! I said, “I can’t believe it. That nest is twice the size it was when I looked last week!”

There were many more hornets crawling around and buzzing around the outside of the nest. They seemed very cranky.

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Ryan cautiously peeked a little closer then jumped back, “Those are Bald-Faced hornets!” he said.

Ryan has been to our house a couple of times. He’s fearless in the face of a large nest of furious Yellow Jackets. Nothing much seems to scare Ryan, but he quickly backed away from our Bald-Faced Hornets.

“You can keep them if you want,” he said. but the nest could get to the size of a basketball and it’s only two feet off the ground. They can be aggressive, and they have a nasty sting. If your dog or a child accidently disturbs them they are dangerous! If you decide to get rid of them, there’s no extra charge since I’m already here. It’s up to you.”

“Really?” I said.

I was thinking about my neighbor Scott’s grandkids who play on the other side of the fence and my little dog, Teddy.  About that time, as if on cue, a couple of agitated hornets flew our way

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“Okay!” I hollered as I ran toward the house.

Yes, I am a bald-faced coward.

Once I was safely inside, I silently said, “sorry” to the creatures who couldn’t help being what they were.

Ryan said he doesn’t always bother with his bee suit when he takes care of yellowjackets, but for the Bald-Faced Hornets he was covered from head to toe.

Dave and I watched Ryan from the safety of the back window. Ryan had taken care of the Yellowjackets in a couple of minutes. For the Bald-Faced Hornets, Ryan worked slowly and very carefully.

Since then I’ve heard several stories from people who have had miserable experiences with the bald-faced hornet. Check YouTube if you want proof!

I hope none of you have followed my example and tenderly protected a Bald-Faced Hornet’s nest.

They have a place in the world, but it’s not in our back yard.

14 thoughts on “Bald Faced Hornets!

  1. Dear Sweet Sweet Susan… this is precisely why you cannot move into a cement world… what an adventure this was for both of you from what it sound like! 🙂

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  2. We had a huge wasp nest way up the top of the outside of our 2 story house. There was no way I would have been able to climb up there. Last summer when the roofers were here, I asked them if they would remove it. They did. It was almost the size of a basketball.

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  3. 🙂 Once i had an ad in the paper for bee swarms; (they are when bees, in a massive ball, are looking for another hive with a new queen and don’t sting). One person who called had hornets in a gourd; she said if i didn’t remove them, she would have them sprayed. Since we lived, back then, on 160 acres with woods, i offered to take them (to save them). When i arrived at her place, i put my be hat and net on, but the hornets were such a small species that they got right through my protective equipment and were crawling around on my face stinging me violently. The hat-net prevented me from reaching them on my face! I used to keep bees… and bee stings didn’t even make me swell, but these little buggers were PAINFUL! 🙂

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  4. Oh my gosh, what a story! That must have been – well, yes it was – Unforgettable!
    I would welcome bees and any other creatures that aren’t likely to be killing anyone!

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  5. I had to gasp at the thought that last week your curiosity brought you face to face with one of these hornets. I am relieved that you called Ryan to get rid of them, and that nobody got stung.

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  6. Sorry, but I have toasted quite a few. During harvest of our pear orchard, I would scout and mark all the trees with these invaders before the pear pickers would arrive. By late evening they would all be in there home, most of them the size of Susan’s picture, football size. I would soak a rag on a stick with a gas and diesel mix, light it and hold the flame under the nest. Problem solved. The year before we did this, some pickers suffered greatly and had to be rushed to the hospital. You see a pear, but your had takes a different path into the nest that you did not see. Out of 4800 trees, 5-6 would be invaded and those would be near the woods next door. Sorry for the killing spree, but it almost became kill or be killed.

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