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Yellow Jackets, Hornets And Wasps Creating A Buzz In Central Ohio

 Entomologist Mark Berman shows off a bald-faced hornet nest.
Matthew Rand
Entomologist Mark Berman shows off a bald-faced hornet nest.

Don’t be surprised if you see more wasps and other stinging insects buzzing around as fall sets in and the days get cooler.

Yellow jackets, bald-faced hornets and paper wasps are all reaching their peak numbers right now, as they shift from raising young to foraging for the last bits of nectar, Mark Berman, an Entomologist and founder of BUGMAN Education & Science Shows, said.

“As goldenrod start dying off and the asters are making their last big show, there's just not that much nectar around," Berman said.

With nectar in short supply, he said these insects will seek sugar in other places.

"But at carnivals and places like that, there's plenty of sweet sugary drinks and foods and ice cream and candy and stuff, and so they start showing up more where we're at when they start getting desperate for sugar at the end of the year.”

While these insects can sting, Berman said they are usually only aggressive around where they are nesting.

The wasps and hornets that are out now will die out when frost sets in this winter, Berman said.

Matthew Rand is the Morning Edition host for 89.7 NPR News. Rand served as an interim producer during the pandemic for WOSU’s All Sides daily talk show.