Day out looking for hornets

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PoppyD

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Jul 18, 2021
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Stourton
Hornets are my favourite insects. Got up early this morning to go over Kinver looking for a nest. Took Paul Ks book so I could relax by the river and read it later on the way back. But I forgot it as mom was taking forever to dry my trousers and in the end I just wore them damp, but that was OK as they dried quickly. But I forgot my book. And my Wookey Hole cheese too, which caused a whole load of disgruntlements in me when I found out.

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I still had a pork pie and a chicken on a stick. Had to eat that before I took the photo though. I have a solo stove to make pine or nettle tea later. And I keep honey in my first aid kit. I can’t remember why, but dad reckons it’s good for something apart from eating. I like that in tea.

I didn’t even see one hornet, which was rubbish. But saw a spawk and loads of deer. And found this feather which I think is a tawny owls wing feather. Yeah?

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pulled up loads of Himalayan balsam on the way back and made a real mess but it’s better out than in.

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Tomorrow I will remember all my stuff and find some hornets. But my cheese got eaten.
 
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Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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S. Lanarkshire
Nice jaunt :) Great photos too :)

I pack polybags in my foraging kit. I also pack net ones, but the poly ones are excellent for things like the HB. If you slip an opened one over the head of the plant and grip it close to the stem, give it a rattle, and you'll gather all the seeds. That stops it sending them up to several metres away to spread, but it also gives you a nutty tasting munchy :cool:
The young shoots are edible too.
It's a pest along the burn and river banks here.

Sympathies on the cheese; good cheese is a pleasure, and an irritation when someone else devours it :rolleyes:
 
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JonathanD

Ophiological Genius
Sep 3, 2004
12,679
1,267
Stourton,UK
Fascinating to see what you actually get up to. Post more pictures. I passed the balsam on my way out. You pretty much cleared the load out.

Never knew you could eat the seeds. Cheers Toddy. I’ve cooked mallard stuffed with the young shoots before and it was surprisingly tasty infused with duck fat.

That cheese was FANTASTIC. There is more on the way.
 
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slowworm

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May 8, 2008
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Devon
We just leave our windows open and the queen hornets come to us. They spend much of early summer hunting around and in our house. Had a nest in our woodland that was fun to watch, no problems at all with them. They are interesting when you try and gently usher them out as they watch you and react to you as you move.
 
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Nice65

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Apr 16, 2009
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W.Sussex
We just leave our windows open and the queen hornets come to us. They spend much of early summer hunting around and in our house. Had a nest in our woodland that was fun to watch, no problems at all with them. They are interesting when you try and gently usher them out as they watch you and react to you as you move.
They’re lovely, docile creatures. A bit scary when you’re thinking it’s just a big bumble bee hovering behind you and turn to see a huge and threatening looking wasp that’s overwintered in your shed overalls.
 

FerlasDave

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Jun 18, 2008
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Off the beaten track
Are there any key factors in looking for them? Like do they have a preferred habitat, other than slowworm’s house of course. :lol:
I can’t remember the last time I saw one to be honest, though there was a lovely wood wasp flying around the camp the other day.
 

gra_farmer

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Mar 29, 2016
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Are there any key factors in looking for them? Like do they have a preferred habitat, other than slowworm’s house of course. :lol:
I can’t remember the last time I saw one to be honest, though there was a lovely wood wasp flying around the camp the other day.
We have a very old pear Orchard (>130 years standing), which is very productive still, but the odd standing dead wood always attracts hornets. Had 7 nests last year there, in what is only 1.25ha
 

PoppyD

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Jul 18, 2021
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Stourton
I had to ask what a FAK was as it sounded rude.

It is in that little pouch at the top of my back pack. It is not in a seperate pouch so I didnt want to spread it out on the grass. I did say about it when I was talking about honey. Don’t assume I am new to this and a complete dumb dumb Like all the other people my age. I held a knife before I held a pen. My dad designed knives, even Bears compact knife and taught knife skills before I was born. I carried a Swiss Army knife on me when I was starting school And can use a full one handed broad sword. I may not know about axes and saws much, but knives I am as good with as a bow And iPhone. I have cut myself and helped people who have had bad cuts. And passed my St John’s first aid as well.

So I would say I am a good influence.

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CLEM

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Jul 10, 2004
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Hey Poppy what is the knife you are carrying in the Mora sheath, I recognise the sheath but not the knife inside it?
 

slowworm

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May 8, 2008
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Devon
Are there any key factors in looking for them? Like do they have a preferred habitat, other than slowworm’s house of course. :lol:
I can’t remember the last time I saw one to be honest, though there was a lovely wood wasp flying around the camp the other day.
You don't find them, they find you... ;)

Actually, they just seem to be common in some places and absent in others. This is the first place I've lived where we seem them about. Previously I've seen them around vine yards and orchards in large gardens open to the public.
 
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Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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I don't think I've ever seen one.
Loads of wasps this year. We've destroyed eight bykes in the loft and sheds this Summer.
I hate killing them, but I'm not having them in the house or in sheds.
 

Lean'n'mean

Nomad
Nov 18, 2020
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France
Used to have plenty of hornets here but like everything else, there are fewer each year. Even had them nest under the roof tiles but we have never had any problems with them.
In the autumn they come & get there share of the fruit in the garden. Same for the wasps.

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A wasp on the right.
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PoppyD

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Jul 18, 2021
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Stourton
You see them on heathland all the time. I just walk around looking for them flying about. Then follow them. If you put on a face mask and breathe carefully you can get right up close to the nest and watch them. If you breathe on them, they notice the carbon dioxide and think there is a predator. They are gentle creatures really and very laid back. And hardly ever sting. You can pick them up carefully and be fine.
 

Tengu

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Jan 10, 2006
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Oh, Poppy, dont take it bad; I was being ironic.

Im sure your knife (and general bushcraft skills) are much better than mine.
 

PoppyD

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Jul 18, 2021
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Stourton
Hey Poppy what is the knife you are carrying in the Mora sheath, I recognise the sheath but not the knife inside it?
It is my Uncle Raymond. It fits in the Mora sheath perfect. Even clicks in and holds like the Mora. I like it better than the one it came with And I can put it in my pocket. you can’t really wear that shoulder one in summer without looking like a goober And scaring people. It is OK when you can put it under a coat.

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PoppyD

Full Member
Jul 18, 2021
147
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Stourton
Oh, Poppy, dont take it bad; I was being ironic.

Im sure your knife (and general bushcraft skills) are much better than mine.
That’s OK. People always ask if I should be using a sharp knife just because I am a young girl and even ask mom and dad if they should be letting me do it. It is silly because riding a bike or crossing a main road can be much more dangerous. It doesn’t happen so much now, but it’s horrible when people talk about you like you’re not there. They should be more worried about mom using a knife than me.
 

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