Finding a bees nest this time of year is not unusual. Finding three in one day is unlikely and finding three different kinds in one day is practically unheard of but it happened today.
Mike was moving some logs with the teeth of the front loader tractor from the back landing to the closer landing, when all of a sudden he had bees swarming around him. He stayed on the tractor and hauled the log all the way forward before setting it down near the other logs in the landing. He saw bees hanging around but not as many as he saw when he first picked up the log. With closer inspection he noticed the log had a hollow end and the bees had moved into the hollow and had a good sized nest in there. He bombed the hollow with a good dose of Bee Bopper and these large critters started tumbling out. We were not able to identify them off-hand so collected a few for further investigation.
He also dug the nest itself out of the hollow with a long stick and doused the whole area again, inside and out. He drove back to the back landing assuming that some of the bees were in a ground nest somewhere around there. He walked through the grass and weeds and did not see where bees would have a hole to get to a ground nest.
But he did find a paper-wasp nest on the fence post nearby where the log had been, a completely different bee than the first nest in the log. These wasps are quite a bit smaller in size and the nest they made was clinging tightly to the post with the barb wires running right through it.
Thinking it was a good thing that we found the two nests before the next week of hot weather hit and the bees get really busy, we headed up the hill to check the seedlings before dark.
These were bald-faced hornets, the kind that have a reputation for flying backwards in order to hit you with their hot stinger (some loggers swear this is true). They are a mean variety of bee and will continue to pound away until their buddies come to help with the attack. Their sting is very potent and getting only a single sting doesn’t happen very often.
We are now carrying bee spray on each rig.