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Author Topic: Are bald-faced hornets a problem?  (Read 4388 times)
SgtMaj
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« on: May 10, 2009, 11:41:58 AM »

When I got home from the cutout that wasn't to be today, I found a bald-faced hornet setting up a paper nest under my eves by the front door.  Will they cause problems for the honeybees?
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HomeBru
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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2009, 12:30:13 PM »

Don't know about the bees, but those suckers will fly across the yard just to sting you! They're on my very short list of eliminate-on-sight...

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charmd2
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« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2009, 01:25:20 PM »

Bald-faced hornets are the nastiest creatures known to man.  i'm convinced.  Kill on sight. 
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2009, 04:12:31 PM »

Well I'm convinced... Wikipedia says they're also in the yellowjacket family. 
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Tucker1
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« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2009, 08:03:04 PM »

We have a serious problem in eastern Washington with Yellow Jackets. They are aggressive little bugs. When ever I visit my hives, I find 2 or three in the area. They have never been a problem. I usually take care of them, the first chance I get.  They seem to like to be around any external feeder and spilt sugar water.  They will occasional get near the entrance of the hive, but are immediately met by several guard bees and soon leave.

As already suggested, I get rid of them as quickly as you can.

Good Luck

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annette
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« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2009, 01:11:05 AM »

Two summers ago, they harassed the hell out of my girls.  Almost every time I went to visit them, there were a couple of hornets flying around the entrances trying to get to the girls.  The whole honeybee defense was out in full force whenever they would start to fly around. After some time they would finally pick up a honeybee from the landing board and fly away with it. I followed one that landed on a bush near the hive and watched it eat the honeybee right there. 

The bees did kill quite a few of the hornets themselves by balling them. I would find lots of dead hornets on the ground.

This only happened that summer and so far nothing this year.
Perhaps there was a nest close by
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MustbeeNuts
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« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2009, 06:51:38 AM »

kill on site, but remember them suckers will attack you with a vengance also. kill them.
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lenape13
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« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2009, 09:34:27 AM »

Exterminate with extreme prejudice!  angry  Not only are the a menace to the girls, they can cause havoc with humans, as well.  Except for the IRS, they are the nastiest things on the planet.
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WOB419
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« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2009, 12:26:53 PM »

Is the venom from a wasp/hornet similar that of a honey bee?  I suspect not but I know nothing about any bugs that are not honey bees.
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annette
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« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2009, 12:48:31 PM »

I don't know about the venom, but I heard the bite can make you cry like a baby.
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dpence
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« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2009, 12:54:05 PM »

I am not sure what use they are.  I generally get rid of them.  A couple years ago, I took a huge nest out of my mother's Mock Orange bush.  They make wild looking paper nests that some people covet for a den ornament.  We have one in our bedroom, sprayed with clear lacquer finish.  I have another one in my shop.  Makes for a conversation piece.    

David
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justgojumpit
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« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2009, 01:12:39 PM »

They are nasty buggers!  Spray them at night, when they are all in.  You don't want to be messing with their nest when they are all flying about!  I've had to deal with them too... They had me running once or twice before I got them good!

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« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2009, 01:51:33 PM »

Just use a bee vac or shop vac and suck them up,  nest and all.  Tape a wire hook on the end of the vacuum hose and you can rip the nest in chunks as you vacuum it.   No need to use pesticides.
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jeremy_c
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« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2009, 06:16:48 PM »

Do Wasps, Hornets, Yellow-Jackets have good job functions as the honey bee does? I'm surprised everyone says kill them right away. I do, however, know they can be pretty agressive and are no fun!

Jeremy
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« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2009, 06:24:17 PM »

Do Wasps, Hornets, Yellow-Jackets have good job functions as the honey bee does? I'm surprised everyone says kill them right away. I do, however, know they can be pretty agressive and are no fun!

Jeremy

Yes they do.  Some of them are important pollinators and others are significant insect predators.  Unless they nest in a place that interferes with me I leave them alone.
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« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2009, 06:27:06 PM »

Wasp and hornets kill nuisance bugs like ants,flies, caterpillars,  and mosquitoes.   Wasp also do some pollination and are pretty docile and usually don't bother people.  Hornets on the other had can get pretty aggressive.   I usually recommend co-existing with wasps if at all possible.  Wasp and yellow jackets can be a little trickier to co-exist with if the nest is close to people.
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« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2009, 06:33:39 PM »

I suppose in the big picture they do have a purpose, but if you have ever been wacked by a bald face hornet.you would have a serious hate on , they pack a supreme punch. it will knock you back. When I got stung I actually heard, a loud smack, or at least I thought I did, and that was on the arm. EWW man!!! , I kill them and run for higher ground. It really really hurts. !!! It's way worse than a black wasp bite. I would venture to say near 20 times that of a bee. bees are nothing compared to a bald face.  
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2009, 11:41:50 PM »

Well I shoo'd it away and destroyed the little nest it had started to build.  It hasn't been back since. 
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« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2009, 12:45:51 PM »

They'll set up a nest somewhere else nearby.  Chances are that you have had a nest in your vicinity before this year.  They'll mostly leave the bees alone.  In the fall, if you have a weak hive they might get the upperhand, but that hive wouldn't make it to spring anyway.

I unknowingly had a bald face hornet nest about 9 feet above my driveway in a thick spruce tree.  Never knew that they were there until the next spring when the hive started disintegrating.   They never bothered anybody or anything.

I did, however, really enjoy that year watching the hornets in the garden.  They'd hover around the cabbage and broccoli plants looking for cabbage worms.  They looked (and sorta sounded) like little Apache helicopters seeking prey.

But I won't tolerate them or any other type of wasp anywhere near where my family or I will be.

Rick
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2009, 12:50:54 PM »

They'll set up a nest somewhere else nearby.  Chances are that you have had a nest in your vicinity before this year.

yeah, there is a good chance they may have been in some thick pine trees nearby, and I wouldn't care if they were there again... but right under the eves by the front door was a little too close.

I did still try to kill it anyway, but missed and it flew off and didn't return.
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Irwin
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« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2009, 01:52:51 PM »

They'll set up a nest somewhere else nearby.  Chances are that you have had a nest in your vicinity before this year.

yeah, there is a good chance they may have been in some thick pine trees nearby, and I wouldn't care if they were there again... but right under the eves by the front door was a little too close.

I did still try to kill it anyway, but missed and it flew off and didn't return.
Your lucky there Sarge every time I miss I get stung and they one heck of a sting Cry Cry Cry But when they stop to sting you can get them Smiley
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« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2009, 03:04:29 PM »

The advice to live and let live with hornets is ok as long as they are not around your living or working area but if they are anywhere that people occupy they need to be removed as quickly as possible.  As an ER nurse I can tell you that hornet stings in particular are dangerous.  Both  hornets and yellow jackets sting in mass, hornets more so than the jackets.  While one  sting hurts but is  tolerable, multiple stings can seriously affect a person and I have had patients die from shock with a multi sting attack.  Not from allergic shock mind you but from the severity of the injury.  Also, use a long distance means of removal.  A bee vac might work in a colder area but here in the deep South would be asking for trouble.  High heat and humidity here seem to make the boogers worse.
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Natalie
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« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2009, 04:20:46 PM »

I really need to get familiar with these different insects so I know what I am seeing when I am outside.
There was a huge and I mean huge bee(?) in my car the other day.
My husband caught it in a jar to show it to me.
It had a yellow or white spot on the front of its head and was mostly black but had very faint yellow bands.
It looked like that thing could do serious damage.
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2009, 08:31:47 PM »

I really need to get familiar with these different insects so I know what I am seeing when I am outside.
There was a huge and I mean huge bee(?) in my car the other day.
My husband caught it in a jar to show it to me.
It had a yellow or white spot on the front of its head and was mostly black but had very faint yellow bands.
It looked like that thing could do serious damage.


Sounds like a bald-faced hornet to me:

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« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2009, 09:07:12 PM »

was it the European hornet? they are huge, I find them here now more thn other years, they seem to not be a pest to hives yet but from reading they can be bad....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_hornet
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dirtyanklebeekeeper
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« Reply #25 on: May 20, 2009, 09:21:18 PM »

I have seen a few hornets this year and they will fly right down to the entrance of a hive and carry a bee away. On occasion I will see three or four bees attack the hornet and take it down. I cannot find their nest though. any tips on how to track them down?
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« Reply #26 on: May 20, 2009, 09:48:26 PM »

Its almost like in between those two types of pictures you guys posted.
I have never seen such a huge bee but it did have that spot on its face, just not as much coloring as the picture of the baldface hornet.
I wish I had thought to take a picture of it.
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annette
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« Reply #27 on: May 20, 2009, 10:56:13 PM »

Here are a couple of photos of the hornet I found dead outside the bee hive last summer. The girls got it.



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Scadsobees
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« Reply #28 on: May 20, 2009, 11:20:49 PM »

Natalie,
How about a cicada killer?  They are intimidating and can act aggressive but rarely sting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cicada_killer_wasp

There are also waspy looking bugs like horntails.

Rick
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #29 on: May 21, 2009, 03:41:56 AM »

I have seen a few hornets this year and they will fly right down to the entrance of a hive and carry a bee away. On occasion I will see three or four bees attack the hornet and take it down. I cannot find their nest though. any tips on how to track them down?

You could try beelining them... just see what direction they fly off in, then move your hive 90 degrees from that direction and see what direction they fly off in again, the intersection of those two lines is where they should be at if they fly straight home like a honey bee does.
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dirtyanklebeekeeper
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« Reply #30 on: May 21, 2009, 06:37:30 AM »

Thanks sgtmaj. We will have to try that. Don't want them to get out of hand.
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« Reply #31 on: May 21, 2009, 06:49:36 AM »

I see them every summer.  They are stalkers of the bees and carry live bees off to feed their young.  I haven't ever killed one but I have seen the bees ball them like Annette said. 

http://beekeeperlinda.blogspot.com/2006/07/attack-of-bee-eater_16.html

http://beekeeperlinda.blogspot.com/2006/07/death-to-intruder_12.html

Linda T in Atlanta where rain is here (Yay!) but it is interfering with honey production because the bees can't fly for days
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Bee Whisper82
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« Reply #32 on: May 21, 2009, 03:23:41 PM »

I can't believe that other bee will feed on honeybees in the first place. Honeybees don't do that. Sad
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« Reply #33 on: May 21, 2009, 03:26:03 PM »

I always meant to tell you Linda that I just adore that photo of the 2 bees standing next to the dead hornet.  Like they are posing with the kill. I also love how you got the photos of them dragging away that same hornet.  Just wonderful.

Annette
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« Reply #34 on: May 24, 2009, 08:20:56 AM »

Quote
I can't believe that other bee will feed on honeybees

The bald-faced hornet is a hornet - not a bee -

Linda T in the beautiful n. Georgia mountains where the blackberry is still full of blooms and bees
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