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More nest shooting

As summer wanes, I've been on a quest to shoot video footage of nests -- yellowjacket, wasp and bald-faced hornet. We got some great footage of a bald-faced hornet nest a couple weeks ago. Today we shot a yellowjacket nest and a wasp nest.

The yellowjacket nest was actually in the house next door to the people who had the hornet nest we filmed. We called these yellowjackets "squatters" because they had established their home within the house -- underneath the concrete front steps, with the nest opening on the right side of the steps.

About a month ago, our R&D department came and collected about 200-300 yellowjackets from this nest, then sprayed it to kill the rest off. The owners then sealed the nest opening with an entire container of caulk. Hardy, persistent creatures that they are, the remaining yellowjackets survived and chewed through the caulk to continue their "squatters' rights" on the property. There was quite a lot of activity when we got there this morning. Standing back from the nest, you get a definite sense of the 'highway' the insects were traveling, and it was right around our heads.

Here is a photo of the nest location. I got as close as I dared -- about 8 feet away from the nest.

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And here is a photo of the nest opening -- zooming in with my digital camera. You can see a small slot through which they are flying in and out.

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Here's our cameraman, suited up and moving the camera into position to film the nest up close.

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The paper wasp nest was much easier to film and get up close to because the insects are far more docile than yellowjackets. Notice that our cameraman is not wearing the helmet and netting that were necessary when filming the hornets and yellowjackets.

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I shot this at about four feet away and zooming in, right underneath the nest.

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These videos should be very helpful to the public for identifying the differences between yellowjackets, hornets and paper wasps. I hope to post some clips soon!

September 1, 2006 in Yellowjackets | Permalink

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