We are starting to see a lot of hornet, wasp and bee calls lately where people were stung because they couldn’t see the nest. This is dangerous because a nest like the one in the picture has hundreds of hornets willing and ready to attack. In this case if the umbrella is disturbed while trying to add it to your outdoor table you are in for a bad day.
Nobody was injured and the resident here noticed the nest because of the hornet activity around their back patio. They were lucky, many people each year are sent to the emergency room because they did not notice the nest in time to stop themselves from getting stung.
This nest, as many others I have removed this year are home to Bald faced hornets, the most aggressive stinging pest that we have in our area. While removing these nests I have had the hornets follow me from the back of a home all the way to the front. They were buzzing around me and clinging on to my bee suit. I cannot imagine the possibility of disturbing these nests without the bee suit.
If you are getting ready to use the grill that you have not fired up in a few weeks or go into your shed that has been closed up all summer, do so with caution. It only takes a short time for a nest to grow as large as the one seen in the picture above. When left undisturbed for weeks they can become intimidating even for me in my bee suit.
Mowing the lawn is another area to use caution, ground bees are very aggressive and swarm just as quickly as hornets. Ground bees will build there nest anywhere from the middle of your yard to the landscaping around the house. Once while treating the exterior of a home for ants, I was not paying much attention to my surroundings and bumped into a bush which contained a large paper wasp nest inside. Fortunately I was able to handle the situation without getting stung but this goes to show the importance of keeping an eye out for these nests.
Bees, wasps, and hornets are beneficial and we are lucky to have them for pollination and all of the other tasks they carry out each day. If you do find yourself in a situation where there is not another option but to eliminate the nest, give an experienced professional a call; its not worth the risk.
Here are a few more examples from this year.