What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Feeding the Cicada Killers
Location: Cumberland Plateau, rural southeast Tennessee
August 14, 2011 4:42 pm
Hello Daniel,
We have recently had at least two wasps, which I believe are Cicada Killers, feeding at our Hummingbird feeders. I noticed that you had a photo of one feeding on a tree and mentioned not having many photos of them feeding. Trust me that the hummingbirds are not amused to have these visitors chase them away from their perches at the feeder! Thanks as always, for your continued work.
Signature: Bob Kieffer

Baldfaced Hornet

Hi Bob,
You have mistaken this Baldfaced Hornet for a Cicada Killer.  We once accused them of being aggressive, but we have since softened our assessment.  Baldfaced Hornets are not an aggressive species, however, they are social wasps and they will defend their nest from any perceived threats.  See this posting for an image of a large paper nest.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Tennessee

2 Responses to Baldfaced Hornet at Hummingbird Feeder

  1. MONIQUE says:

    BALD FACE HORNETS ARE AGGRESSIVE! THEY CHASE MY HUMMINGBIRDS AND ORIOLE’S AND THEN WHEN I GO TO FILL THE FEEDERS THEY ATTACK ME!! I GOTTA KILL THEM BY NETTING THEM IN A BUTTERFLY NET BEFORE I CAN FILL FEEDERS. IT HAS JUST GOTTEN TO BE FUN NOW BUT BOY THEY ARE MEAN BUGGERS !!!! BE SAFE!
    ONTARIO CANADA

    • Thank You! I read Bob’s assessment and thought the same thing. Not aggressive my ass. I noticed my hoverbirds hovering around debating wether to approach the feeder- then I saw this bald bee chasing them off. At first I thought they were checking for competing hummingbirds but nooo they were looking for these comparably sized hornets that took over. I armed myself with the first book I found, ironically my sons’s copy of the Jungle Book, and moved their feeder hoping it was a more agreeable distance for the hornets. I found myself to be the next target. Next time I’ll be armed with a bottle of dish soap and water. McFly and his hover friends are safe for now. How can you consider an insect armed with the ability and intent to repeatedly sting its victims not aggressive?!

      [Yes we lovingly call our hummingbirds hoverbirds and refer to them as McFly and friends. It’s a reference to Back to the Future. I consider it a better substitution for lack of a hover board we thought the future promised as kids.]

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