Hornets Weigh-in on Winter Weather
This photo was taken by Susan O'Connell near Salmon River, NS. The nest is 5 metres above the ground! Get out your shovel!
Published Wednesday, October 16, 2013 11:38AM ADT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 16, 2013 12:03PM ADT
With such nice weather over the weekend, I’m sure that many of you were out enjoying the fabulous fall colours! Did you happen to come across a hornets’ nest? I’ve been getting photos of hornets’ nests taken from one end of the Maritimes to the other. Apparently, many of you are familiar with the old wives tale, the question is, which one?
Depending on where you grew up or maybe where your ancestors were from, the weather expression varies. An American saying states “When hornets build nests near the ground a harsh winter is expected”.
Grandma on the other hand believed that “the higher the nest, the more severe the winter would be”. Of course both weather sayings indicate that the location of a hornet’s nest determines the severity of the winter weather, there is no real science to support either one.
Hornets usually build their large, gray paper nests—seen in trees, shrubs, or sometimes on buildings—in late spring and at the end of summer. The entire colony (except the young queens) dies at the end of the season, and the nests are abandoned, making it hard to see how their location would be of any predictive value.
It’s believed that current weather is more of a determining factor when it comes to the location of the hive. When building their nests, hornets, wasps and bees prefer dry weather, so if the season has been very wet, they’ll go up!
Let me know which weather saying you grew up with and where you live. Maybe we can determine if in fact it does vary from region to region.