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Name: Erin B.
Status: educator
Age: 30s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Sunday, October 27, 2002

My students are wondering if bald faced hornets make a sound? If so, how does it create the sound, and how would you describe the sound?

An interesting question. You might hear from a biologist who can give you his or her perspective on it, but - though I am not a biologist - I have spent a lot of time with bees and their cousins the hornets and wasps. I am on the call list used by the university extension office when they receive "bee" complaints.

I have heard two sounds made by these flying friends. First is the buzz that comes from beating their wings. If you listen carefully, you can hear a difference in the sound between groups and even those made by individuals in different situations. An angry hornet or bee sounds different than one that is just busy.

They can also make a sound with their mandible when they chew on something. It is hard to hear just one, but when a group are all chewing, the sound is very noticeable. Sometimes when bees make nests in walls people on the inside can hear this sound.

Hope your young associates find this interesting.

Larry Krengel

Hornet wings may make a slight buzzing sound, as do many other insects, but they do not make any sounds for communication or other intent.

J. Elliott

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