What I'm Seeing Now

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On This Inspection I Ran Into A Real Hornet's Nest

I really did - on this inspection I ran into a real hornet's nest.

And it was gorgeous!  It's bigger than a basketball!

What kind of bee is this?

It is the Bald-faced Hornet.

And they are nasty. 

Hornets don't like vibration, so if you drive by the hive with the riding mower, or happen by with the weed whacker, it will disturb the hive.

This hive consists of a queen and 200-400 infertile, winged females, brood keepers, male drones and many reproductive females.

The inside of the hive is made up of three or four tiers of what looks like a regular honey-combed bee's nest, surrounded by this paper shell.

The paper is made from chewed wood pulp mixed with bee saliva.  It is a very strong structure.

These bees eat caterpillars and aphids, and collect pollen and nectar like other bees to add carbohydrates to their diet.  The bald-faced hornet thrives throughout North America.

These nests are built every year!  This is left over from last year and is not occupied.  You can see the hole where birds went in to harvest what was left by the colony when they abandoned it last fall.

You will see them every spring.  They have white faces, and black bodies with white abdomens.  THEY ARE VERY AGGRESSIVE!  THEY STING MORE THAN ONCE!  They will attack if something comes within a few feet of the nest.

My recommendation:  if you see one of these in the winter you might as well remove them.  They are not occupied.  And next summer bees will not move back in.  But having located your house once, they will come back year after year unless the hive is eliminated and you prevent a new one from being built.

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 39 commentsJay Markanich • January 25 2013 01:41AM

Comments

Oh yes...I recognize this nest.  Years ago, we had a huge one on our house.  I will never forget it.  It was so ugly and scary and I remember my dad trying to figure out how to get rid of it.  Yuck indeed.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 6 years ago

I think they look just great.  Haven't found one around here but I keep looking.  Enjoy the day

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) almost 6 years ago

It has to be physically cut off Debbie.  It isn't easy.

James - they are great, until the army exits on its way to get you!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

You are right Jay, these suckers are nasty! Glad yours was unoccupied or that could have gotten dangerous. 

Posted by Brian Rayl, Active Agent and Co-founder Of Home Value Leads (Home Value Leads) almost 6 years ago

Hi Jay,

Extra caution needs to be had when seeing these Bald Faced Hornets in the area.

I have dealt with these for years. Mostly in up North in Michigan. I have only seen one hive here in New Mexico. Thank goodness for that.

Have a good weekend in Bristow my friend.

Best, Clint McKie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) almost 6 years ago

They are called White Face Hornets here in CT. This is funny because I ren into a hornets nest the other day myself. The homeowner had two nest he collected in his garage. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) almost 6 years ago

I did not realize that they established their hive year after year. I figured once they were gone they were gone. Thanks for the warning, I have one at the peak of my house some 35 feet up. I can reach it with a stick from my son's attic window and will do so as soon as the weather breaks.

Posted by Suesan Jenifer Therriault, "Inspecting every purchase as if it were my own". (JTHIS-Professional Home Inspection Team) almost 6 years ago

Good morning Jay,

iIteresting Post. Is there a way to PREVENT these hornets from building on your property?

Posted by Brad Rachielles, REALTOR, CDPE, Upland, CA (CENTURY 21 Peak, Ca BRE# 01489453) almost 6 years ago

Brian - I didn't get anywhere near it even if it isn't occupied!  I am really afraid of those things - I had a run in with a hive when I was a kid.

I hear they are everywhere Clint.  Maybe they are partial to cold weather.

All the same Jim!  A bald-faced by any other name is still a bald-faced!  The nests are quite sophisticated when you look at them.

Get rid of it Sue.  But I understand they won't move back into it.

Brad - when the nest is just beginning is the time to spray it and scrape it off.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

Jay -- we have seen similar things locally, though ours was build by yellow wasps -- it was almost soccer ball size and wa in a Rhododendron next to the front door.  Not a good place to have a wasp's nest.   This looks like it was on the ground.

Hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) almost 6 years ago

This is up high under the eve Steven.  It's about 20' high.  Stay away from that rhodo!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

They are really nasty, Jay.  I've never seen a stinging insect like them that will seek you out.  We try to make sure they are eradicated early.  Nasty business. 

Posted by Mike Cooper, Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) almost 6 years ago

Like Jim said---in the NE we called these white faced hornets and they are indeed an unfriendly bunch---have tried to "socialize" with them on a few occasions.  I have since decided they are not worth the effort :)  When I first moved to the West coast I thought the yellow wasp nests common here were hornet nests.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 6 years ago

Jay that looks scary. Being stung by a bee once loooooong time ago. Not a nice feeling. The things home inspector sees during inspection huh Jay?LOL. Have a great weekend.

Posted by Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan, I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES (Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC) almost 6 years ago

Mike - they are worried about those killer bees that came up here from the south.  These can be pretty bad too!

Charlie - you tried to socialize?!  Excuse the gasping cough...  sorry, again...  We have yellow wasps here too.  They like my daughter's play hut (which she no longer uses, but they seem to like).

Lanre - as a home inspector I meet up with bees all the time!  I should be immune by now, but am not!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

I'm fearful of anything that stings. That's probably not the best part of your job.

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) almost 6 years ago

I'm glad to run into something like this in winter Jill!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

Yikes! I've seen a few of those but never an active one thank goodness!

Posted by Mitch Muller - Charlotte NC Real Estate, Certified Residential Specialist (ProStead Realty Charlotte, NC CRS SRES mitch@prostead.com) almost 6 years ago

How do you know they were bald? There could have been a little hair there... or some peach fuzz :-)

Summer, Winter, Spring, Fall.... I WON'T be picking one of those bad boys up...lol. Looks like it's attached to that wall pretty securely. Better you than me my friend!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) almost 6 years ago

I ran into hornets summer before last outside a foreclosure out in the country. Didn't check their hairline, just ran like crazy but still got stung a couple of times. The worst was years ago driving my truck with the window down and my arm on the sill. A bee went right up my sleeve and into the shirt. I went crazy trying to get the bee out with a sad and painful end.

Posted by Rob Nelson, Your Neighborhood Realtor (Crye-Leike Realty) almost 6 years ago

Mitch - that is one nest you want to avoid!

Fred - they are adolescent yet, hence still bald.  They are very strong structures and attached with Gorilla Glue.

Rob - it's amazing that to avoid a bee sting, while driving a car, people would totally lose control and go off a cliff!  Once I was in a tree and some bees attacked and my instinct was to jump out of the tree!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

Nasty little suckers.... hornets and loan modification scammers! Rid ourselves of both!

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) almost 6 years ago

Sounds good Gary.  Imagine a few hundred of them attacking at once!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

Wow, that thing is huge!!  I hope I never get to see one of those at any of my listings or at my house.  Thanks, Jay

Posted by Kimberly Thurm, Broker / Relocation Consultant ABR, CRS, GRI, SFR (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff, Naperville, IL) almost 6 years ago

It was a big one Kimberly!  And when populated was apparently really, really full.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

Yes I  see vacant ones and if it is winter where we are now is the time to get rid of them. It is always an adventure in Real Estate World.

Posted by Tamara Schuster, Realtor Broker - Naperville (Naperville Glen Ellyn Lisle Plainfield Wheaton Illinois) almost 6 years ago

Jay this is beautiful I agree but not for me at all..... I have been out showing and here they come bammmmmm they got me good right on the eye lid neadless to say my face swelled up my clients got scared I called my husband to come and get me tooks some medicine called it a day and sold my clients a house later in the week. lol Thank you for the post talk to you soon

Posted by Laura Filip, What can we do for you today? (Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life ) almost 6 years ago

oooo, I hate these things. Been stung more often than I care to count. Stand waaaay away and shoot that wasp stuff at the nest. And then remove every trace of the nest over the winter. ugh ......

Posted by Gabrielle Nemes, 206.300.8421, S King & Pierce County RE Advocate (RE/MAX Realty South) almost 6 years ago

They are called White Faced Hornets in RI too. Having also been a Pest Control Contractor, I dealt with these frequently at the end of the summer. They can build a rather large nest in a short amount of time. The nests are usually 10' -12' off the ground, but can also be hidden in shrubs and trees. From experience, I can tell you thet the sting is quite painful and because their stingers are not barbed, thay can sting repeatedly! The worst nest I ever treated - I treated from within my car. I drove to within 12' of the nest, lowered my widow just enough to spray the nest from afar. It took a while, but it worked. The nest had 9 levels within it all loaded with eggs!

 

Posted by Hank Richter (HomePro Inspections of RI) almost 6 years ago

I walked into a shed last summer. A rattlely tin thing with a stuck door. I had to bang the door around to get it open which greatly disturbed a hornets nest. Bam...got me good. Twice.

Posted by Joel Weihe, Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits (Realty World Alliance) almost 6 years ago

I like that others don't need to see first hand. Jays photos are just fine for me. Very clear and sharp.

Posted by Chuck Mixon, Cutler Bay Specialist, GRI, CDPE, BPOR (The Keyes Company) almost 6 years ago

I hate those things. I have ever seen those black and white ones and according to this site they don't live here. http://www.whyistheanswer.com/bald-faced_hornet/

Posted by Rob Ernst, Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor (Certified Structure Inspector) almost 6 years ago
Oh my! Glad you are okay! I had one about that size on my house once.! Amazing what you must run into on some of these!
Posted by Courtney Cooper, 206-850-8841 (Ben Kinney Brokerages Leadership at our Keller Williams North Seattle Office) almost 6 years ago

Tamara - best to come knocking when they aren't at home!

In the eye Laura?  Yikes!  You must have been a sight!

Gabrielle - they make venom which can shoot many feet.  I wonder if it's far enough!

Hank - with enough time and workers they will build condos on top of condos inside there.

Joel - ignorance is bliss, until you are suddenly instructed.

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

Chuck - photos are easier to deal with!

Rob - according to that map they aren't where Clint is either, but he said he has seen them.  I got my info from the Scout Handbook, which said all over.  But hey, they have been wrong before!

Courtney - this time of year we would be safe.  But not in September!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

That's some pretty scary stuff Jay.  I  have a few regular nests that I need to remove from my house before it gets warm and they come back.  

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) almost 6 years ago

These nests can be Christiansens.  But not now - the birds eliminated all the interior way back in the fall.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

There are maps that say we don't have scorpions in Northern Nevada but they must have hitched a ride up from Vegas because there are some places they do show up. So you never know. I might see those black and white ones.

Posted by Rob Ernst, Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor (Certified Structure Inspector) almost 6 years ago

I have heard that scorpions are a real pain getting into houses Rob.  At least you can easily see a hornet's nest!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

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