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I met a hornet....

Posted Wednesday, October 24, 2012, at 1:54 PM

Something about me that you didn't know - I am an insect admirer!

I met a hornet just the other day. I have lived in this neighborhood for more than 2 years and it was the first hornet I have seen. I was doing some woodworking on my deck, and I believe the hornet was attracted to the noise.

I had my head bent over and just happened to look up in time to see the hornet hovering in front of my face. Previous experiences have taught me that even though hornets belong in the wasp family, they are much friendlier than their cousins. In Tennessee we usually see European hornets. They are about 2 inches in length and their coloration resembles that of yellowjackets.

Mr. Hornet looked at me for a while before investigating my Dremel rotary tool and my electric sander. He seemed to like my toolbox and settled in for a companionable visit. He stayed about 20 minutes and went on his way.

Don't get me wrong - they will sting and it does hurt! But they are only aggressive when you are near their nest or if you interrupt them. They are extremely curious and I met quite a few when I lived in Joelton.

Hornets are beneficial - they eat other insects that snack on your outdoor plants, and they do an incredible job of pollinating. If you are approached - don't swat! Just nod politely, don't make aggressive movements, and they will go on their merry way.

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Yes, but what about sharks falling from the sky?


-- Posted by jcarney on Fri, Oct 26, 2012, at 10:13 AM

When I first heard the story of the shark I could have sworn I heard the fellow say a 2 TON shark, but then I heard the theory that it was dropped by a bird and all sense of reality "flew" out the window.

Either way, it could solve a mystery as to how ponds get populated with fish when no human help was added. Do you suppose that birds might purposely "stock" the ponds? :-)

Getting back to the hornets, I always wondered what these yellow jackets on steroids were and now I know. All bees and wasps are friends to me, although they did not always reciprocate the feeling.

I have seen the white faced hornet pounce on a barn fly and take it off. I presume they do like a hawk? Take it somewhere to eat in peace or do they bring it back to their hive?

-- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Oct 27, 2012, at 7:40 AM

I don't know much about sharks as they are rare in Tennessee. I think I trust a hornet more than a shark on any given day. Besides, I think sharks might not be in a good mood after flying.

I imagine that barn fly became a snack for the Queen Hornet!

-- Posted by wildwoman on Sat, Oct 27, 2012, at 9:05 AM

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Vicky Carder is a Shelbyville native. In 1991 she founded Walden's Puddle Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Nashville. There she served as Executive Director for more than 12 years. The Center is the largest wildlife hospital in Middle Tennessee. She has published in wildlife national and international journals. Now she wants to share her knowledge of native wildlife and some of the experiences she had while working with wildlife.
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