Getting Answers: hornets making early appearance this season

Hornets are making an early appearance as we officially enter summer in western Massachusetts.
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 4:52 PM EDT
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(WGGB/WSHM) - Hornets are making an early appearance as we officially enter summer in western Massachusetts.

“We have had the ideal nest making temperatures. It’s been moderate, 70s, low 80s with very little rain and that is ideal nest building time for hornets and yellow jackets,” said Bob Russell with American Pest Solutions.

Russell told us he’s seeing hornet nests earlier than usual this year, thanks to recent weather conditions. He added that this could be mean trouble later this summer.

“Once you get these nests to a certain level, which we are seeing now, they can expand exponentially over the next couple of weeks and when you get into July and August, yellow jackets as well, nest size for individuals explode and that’s when you start seeing people get stung and seeing these large nests and that’s when they become a hazard to humans,” Russell explained.

What do you do if you spot a nest near your house? Russell had this advice.

“If you are going to address them, do it at night and treat them at night or hire a professional because they can be very aggressive and sometimes with yellowjackets, there are void nests in a wall void. I caution homeowners do not seal up the opening. You will force hundreds of bees inside the house and create a very difficult treatment situation for a professional if you hire one,” Russell added.

For those wondering how to tell the difference between the types of bees, Russell noted, “Honeybees are more brownish yellow and black versus yellowjackets are more yellow and black and they are pretty small. You can see them going in and out of an opening either on a building or in the ground most likely, and you will see a lot of traffic. Get into July and you will see a lot of traffic when they are flying in and out all day and you don’t want to get into that traffic.”