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Hornets.


Bjorn74
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Today I took my time getting to work. From where I woke up it is a three hour drive, so taking from 8am EDT and getting to my office at 3:30EDT is really taking some time. I did find eight caches on the way spanning over 200 miles.

 

But the interesting thing is this: I stopped at a cemetery cache which are very popular in NW Ohio. As I drove in, my car was swarmed by hornets. 50-100 attacked my car. I waited for them to subside before getting out. Remembering my tour of a beehive last fall at a geo-publicity event I thought to wear a coat (it was 94°!) and I lit up a cigar that had been stashed in the console a few weeks ago. It was nasty and all dried up but made good smoke. So I puffed my way to the micro and signed quickly and left right away.

 

I figure that's it, right? Well two miles away, I get to the next Cemetery micro (these are REALLY popular in NW Ohio) and my car is again swarmed by hornets. The beating on my car is less but they're there. What's happening is these crazy devils are ramming into my car and bouncing off and returning to do it again. A bit less time passes before they stop and I traverse the ground without a coat this time, completely left alone. When I get back, a few are still dive bombing my car.

 

The next cemetery micro (did I say that these are POPULAR?) is about 3 miles from there and there are no hornets. I skip and jump on my way to the obvious location and return to... You guessed it, HORNETS atttacking my car again.

 

So from what I learned about bees last year, they inject you with a chemical marker that says that you're bad news and that you should be attacked. Is it possible that I came close to a hornet hive somewhere and my car got marked then all the hornets anywhere I went got the signal to attack the car? Otherwise, is it possible that hornets just don't like green Bonnevilles?

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No expert but I used to be highly allergic to bee stings. My best guess is that you happened upon separate nests and the bees were protecting their home, also the dark color of your cachemobile & the CO2 from the exhaust may have a small part to play in the attack/interest.

Honeybees can gather/swarm in a large unprotected mass hanging from a limb.

Yellow jackets nest in the ground (not all the time)

Hornets build large football nests clearly visible (not every type)

Others - go wherever they want

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That's the other thing. At no point did I drive against a bush or tree. At that first cache, I looked in the trees for a nest in case I needed to report it in my log and there wasn't anything to report. Since hornets nest in trees, I didn't drive over a nest. Also, if my car was close to the nest, I was too, when I got out of the car. They should have come after me.

 

Maybe Hornets collectively own GM stock.

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How about on the drive you mashed a few in the grill or various other parts of the car? Seems they respond to "danger" chemicals given by others so mayhaps one or more of the freshly mashed triggered the attacks?

On to the years past Enquirer, maybe they are crossed with those evil African honeybees?

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Were the Hornets very large?? In Ohio right now this is the mating season for sand hornets. they are very large(an inch or more in length and quite fat) but they are not aggressive. you can walk through a swarm of them usually and not be bothered. they also burrow in loose sandy soil.

 

Chris Blank

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Were the Hornets very large??

Yes, I think they were large. The whole mating thing didn't seem to explain why they went away after some time. Maybe they thought my Geomobile was a huge green hornet?

 

I sent off a note to the Bee people at THE Ohio State University and got an email reply that they're at a convention. (No comments about what season it is in Ohio...) Hopefully they'll be able to shed light on this daytime terror.

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Based on what I've picked up by hanging out with people that research bee navigation, if they're flying at your and running into you, I seem to recall that this means that they feel you're too close to their nest, and really want you to go away because their agitated about it. And yes, crushed bees can release a danger scent that irritates other bees. Now, whether this also applies to hornets, frankly, I don't have a clue.

 

(Also note, this was being told to me while I was in a large tented area filled with lots of bees. I'm not exactly hugely fond of bees, so whether I picked up what I was being told completely correctly is open for argument.)

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Maybe Hornets collectively own GM stock.

 

The Hornet was made by AMC (which through various transactions is now owned by Daimler-Chrysler) so I would consider that theory to be highly questionable. My parents had a green Hornet - I remember when they traded it in for an '80 Chevy Citation I thought it was a huge upgrade :lol:

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Maybe Hornets collectively own GM stock.

 

The Hornet was made by AMC (which through various transactions is now owned by Daimler-Chrysler) so I would consider that theory to be highly questionable. My parents had a green Hornet - I remember when they traded it in for an '80 Chevy Citation I thought it was a huge upgrade :(

Maybe that's when they bought the stock. There's no rule against buying the competition.

 

Today's Hornet Alert:

 

Pink - No Hornets

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More research:

 

It's hard to remember exactly what the bee/wasp/hornets looked like exactly but the closest pictures point them toward the Baldfaced Hornet or another of the large hornet types. They didn't look white so much as a pale yellow. But I've been stung enough times to know it wasn't a bee, yellow jacket, or a wasp.

 

I found some information in a couple county extension newsletters in KY and PA that quoted Ohio State's Extension Service as saying that hornets change from being meat eaters and gathers in August to collecting nectar and sweet things to produce more queens and drones. The area I was in has been very dry this summer and I don't remember seeing any flowers around this areas I saw the hornets, so the closest thing to a flower may well have been my car. Also being in the former Great Black Swamp, these hornets may have inherited the work ethic that clear cut it by hand in the 19th century. So they're starting really early.

 

So far, just conjecture.

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They just wanted to see if they could force a grown man to walk around in a coat during the hottest part of summer. It worked the first time, so they called their buddies down the road and said that you might be heading that way. So of course, they did the same thing, but it didn't work. That group almost forgot to relay the message to the next hive. You were already out of the car by the time they got the memo. Entomologists have long known that the wasp/hornet/bee/yellow jacket hybrid, or Warneeket, as they're known, are the practical jokers of the insect world. If you looked closely you could have probably seen the little buzzers not-so-well concealed in their hands in case you wanted to shake in truce. :rolleyes:

Edited by Mr. 0
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Are you sure they were hornets and not horse flies? Horse flies swarmed our car recently at a cache stop. Horse flies are attracted to heat. It is thought that this is one way they locate a blood meal. They kept running into our car again and again. Luckily, this kept them uninterested in us since we were a much smaller heat source than our car. It doesn't sound like hornets to keep attacking you at several cache sites. It DOES sound like horse flies which are large and about the size of hornets.

 

--Dave the entomologist

Edited by GrnXnham
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Cicada killer males, though lacking a stinger, will attack their reflection in a window as they are highly territorial, but I think they are solitary and there should be no mistaking them as they are HUGE (almost an inch and a half long)

 

I got a closeup view of a female taking down and stingng a cicada to death a couple weeks ago and it was both fascinating and gruesome at the same time.

 

Cicada Killer Pic

Edited by LO-Maqhi
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Cicada killer males, though lacking a stinger, will attack their reflection in a window as they are highly territorial, but I think they are solitary and there should be no mistaking them as they are HUGE (almost an inch and a half long)

 

I got a closeup view of a female taking down and stingng a cicada to death a couple weeks ago and it was both fascinating and gruesome at the same time.

 

Cicada Killer Pic

That's not far from what I saw. An inch and a half in length or longer is quite possible.

 

I still haven't heard from the OSU experts, but tonight I placed a cache at 11:30pm and found something weird where I had chosen to put the cache a month ago. I felt papery and crunched as I put the velcro on. Then it started moving. Whoops! Paper wasps! Luckily, they all fell to the ground and I squashed them all. I moved the cache to a location 5 feet away, though. Kids could play on these things if they could ever see them, that is. It's obvious enough, I don't think there will be a problem.

 

Back to the "Hornets"

 

Oh, last weekend, I was placing another in a cemetery about 40 mile SE of the prior experiences and I had about 5 trying to get in my car. They seemed to be trying to squeeze into the window seals this time. One held on up to 55mph. Mighty Bugger!

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