Beekeepers already guard against ‘bald-faced hornets’

A bald-faced hornet. Cornell University

Another type of hornet is of a more immediate concern for local beekeepers than the threatened invasion of Asian giant (murder) hornets.

With a name resembling the nemesis of a super hero, the bald-faced hornet is bad news for honey bee hives.

It’s a large species of yellowjacket, black and white, and builds large paper-like nests in trees. It’s the largest yellow jacket species in North America, growing to at least 0.6 inches long.

“I have been a beekeeper. I have tried defending my hives from bald-faced hornets. They are tenacious,” said Amy Gangloff-Kaufmann, senior extension associate for Cornell University’s department of entomology.

According to a Cornell fact sheet, during summer months, the insects serve an important role as predators of flies, caterpillars and other soft-bodied insects. However, because of their ability to sting and a propensity to defend the nest, bald-faced hornets represent a public health concern when they live near humans.

Early-season scouting and removal of small nests can prevent problems with large hornet populations later in the year.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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