Hornets and Sound
Name: Erin B.
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
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
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.
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.
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