AmericanTrails.org - Full Article
This first hand account from American Trails contributor Lora Goerlich is a great reminder about why you need to be prepared for yellowjackets on the trail.
by Lora Goerlich
Yellowjackets – the aggressive wasps that emerge from ground or cavity nests ready to do battle at the slightest provocation. From August until the first frost, these battle-minded buggers are to be feared. Not only do they sting multiple times, but as they sting, they release a pheromone trail for their associates, leading straight to the target. Their more docile, relatives include honey and bumble bees, paper and mud dauber wasps, hornets and caricature mascots. Honey and bumble bees sport fuzzy bodies; they don’t typically attack unless they are heavily provoked. Hornets, mud dauber and paper wasps commonly build visible nests among tree branches or on building structures, they are easy to avoid. Clear identification is vital to the survival of the more passive pollinators whose population numbers are dwindling.
On the trail, lead riders unknowingly stir up trouble as their horse’s hooves hit the ground near buried hives creating a wake of mayhem for the riders in the rear...
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