Photographing Hornets

 

I couldn’t resist photographing the hornets as I passed their nest this evening. The entrance is around 300mm above my head, so I had to stretch to get my trusty 60mm macro lens close enough to the subjects. Spike sat patiently at my feet, watching the hornets flying in and out.

There is always a hornet standing at the door, checking the others in and out and keeping a general eye on what’s happening outside.

Hornets swerved past me head on the way in and out of the nest. One landed on my neck, a couple on my hat, and I could feel them on my hands. They didn’t stay long; I suspect that the insect repellent I was wearing wasn’t to their taste. If they had decided to attack me, though, I don’t think the insect repellent would deter them one bit. Hornets are really not a problem unless they smell your fear, or your movements are too quick and jerky. It’s a good idea not to let them see your eyes: they recognise us by our eyes.

Within seconds of my getting up close, the door hornet launched itself at me. I could hear it circling my head. I remained perfectly still and it soon returned to door duty. After an initial inspection by a few other hornets, I was  totally ignored by them.

Hornets have their predators, and I have found a few raided nests. There is a post on nest raiding here and another here.

6 Comments on “Photographing Hornets

  1. I will take your word for how to behave round hornets but I hope that I never have to put it into action.

    • Maybe I should have made it clear that they recognise us as a possible threat by the fact that we have eyes, but so do most animals.

      • I suppose that actually makes a lot of sense, given the fact that markings (or in humans’ case, masks) that resemble eyes help to dissuade predators.

      • With a camera to my eye, a fox, will come very close to me providing I’m downwind. If I slowly move my camera to reveal one eye, the red dog is away as fast as his legs will carry him. The same applies to insects, particularly dragonflies, damselflies and butterflies.

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