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Greener Thumb
Posts: 869
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:13 am
Location: Columbia, MD

Hornets in Tree

I noticed the other day that we have some kind of hive in the trunk of a huge cherry tree on our property. I've been looking through bee, hornet, and wasp ID photos and I'm thinking that they're hornets. The hornets are large, maybe a little bigger than a carpenter or bumblebee and they have a more elongated body shape. Their rear ends are black and yellow striped. They're constantly going in and out of the tree.

I've never dealt with something like this before so I'm not sure what my options are. Someone mentioned calling a beekeeper. If they are wasps though and not bees, will they still be able to remove the hive? It's tricky since I'm not sure exactly what I'm dealing with. Any other thoughts as to their removal?

Once I have the hive situation under control then I believe I'll be contacting an arborist to inspect the health of the tree. I'm sure they'd appreciate the bees being gone before I contact them, correct?

Greener Thumb
Posts: 1203
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 1:10 pm
Location: Zone 8A Western Washington State

Re: Hornets in Tree

There are so many different opinions about bees. Myself, I'm a softee so if I discover a nest in my yard, I leave it be. The bees eventually die and they don't reuse the hive. The queen overwinters in a new location. Yes, bees can sting, but they only do so if they are threatened or provoked. Can you really blame them for defending their hive? Bees can be dangerous to humans but that does not mean that they always are.

I found another blog with some posts about hornets-wasps that you might like to read. ... rnet-nests

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