Yellow Jackets on deck patio while eating
It is Mid August and hornet populations including Yellow Jackets are expanding rapidly. The expanded populations require expanded foraging to feed the larger and growing nest. It will seem as if one day there was not a bee in sight and from the next day on yellow jackets are bothering everyone on the deck, the patio, by the pool, and especially when there is food out. This happens because hornets, yellow jackets are a hornet, lay bunches of eggs daily that become adults in bunches shortly after. The more workers available to forage means more eggs can be laid. As the population of the colony grows the queen becomes more confident in laying ever more eggs. A colony can double in size every couple of weeks in summer. This rapid expansion always catches people by surprise. Now what? There is nothing designed to be successful against free flying hornets, so what can be done? The first step is to carefully, please note the carefully part, try to visually follow the flights back to a nest. Look for a hornet carrying a piece of food. It will try to get it back to its nest asap. You will also want to carefully examine your house and bushes for active nests. Yes nests they may be more than one and we do not want to miss any! Slowly walk around the house and bushes looking for hornet nests attached to the outside or hanging in a bush or from a tree. Also look for hornets flying in or out of a particular part of the ground or in the house. Catching the light angles is helpful here. Remember the offending hornets may not be nesting on your property, but you need to examine yours first.