I have a hornet's nest in my yard that is over 12 inches high-- it is in...

Asked September 11, 2018, 10:21 AM EDT

I have a hornet's nest in my yard that is over 12 inches high-- it is in bushes and we are not disturbing it. However, today the hornets are swarming in the yard. I have called Ohio wildlife to remove the hive but my question is why the hornets are swarming today. Could it be the street work being done at the corner? The workers are drilling the concrete among other things. Could these vibrations be disturbing the hive?

Franklin County Ohio

1 Response

Many wasp species swarm primarily to protect their nest. If wasps sense their nest is in jeopardy, they may swarm the area to fend off the perceived attacker. Wasps are known to swarm people and animals if their nest is disturbed. Although most wasp species, like yellow jackets, build their nests in the eaves of houses and in trees, some wasps build their nests in bushes or plants such as ivy, and so they can be disturbed much more easily and unintentionally, causing a swarm reaction.

Wasps may also swarm when they are searching out a new nest location. This is not a threatening swarm, as they are simply moving in a group to locate the building site for their nest. If you disrupt a swarm of wasps looking for a nest, they may become aggressive. Many wasp species, such as paper wasps and mud daubers, can be aggressive any time they are away from a safe haven like their nest, and so you should avoid coming in contact with them.

Some wasp species can be aggressive without provocation, and may swarm or attack for no perceived reason. Paper wasps, for example, are naturally aggressive wasps that may attack people or animals without any real provocation. Because flying wasps can be difficult to identify in motion, the best course of action is to distance yourself from a wasp as much as possible to avoid giving the insect a reason to sting.

Following are a couple of links to university extension sites with more info;