Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Saga of the Hornet Nest

Hornet nest under the deck with a guard hornet in the doorway!
Photo taken with the endoscope as Drew snaked it up under the deck.
"Ouch!", "Nailed again!", "Geez...what the heck?", are all quotes from Drew and I, (and from Lady Flame and Toby if they could speak "Human". Although, Lady Flame was also saying, "I don't want to go out for potty. I can hold it, Dad! I don't want to get stung again!")
We all got stung repeatedly, on and off, for a couple of weeks until Drew found the nest under the deck. These bees seemed smaller than yellowjackets, but they are all in the same family of social wasps (although Drew refers to them as antisocial wasps!")
These darned hornets would zoom out for a quick attack, then retreat. They were protecting all the larvae. You can barely see the grubs hanging down from their cells in the hive. After several sprayings of wasp annihilator poison (I don't know what brand we used, but it had one heck of a forceful stream), the majority of the hornets died.
Drew removed the hive, broke it open, and sprayed the heck out of it again. Overkill? Maybe, but no more hornets from this hive will attack us this summer. In this photo, you can see the grubs on the left. The cells that have woven silk caps contain the more mature grubs, now called pupae, that will hatch out into fully fledged adults (about 30 days after the eggs were laid.) And, you can see tiny eggs in their own cells throughout the hive. 

I found this great little video about Yellowjackets on YouTube. Excellent!

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