Breakdown: Why a hornets nest could indicate the winter season

Published: Sep. 4, 2020 at 8:49 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The ole folklore says, “See how high the hornet’s nest; ’Twill tell how high the snow will rest.” Indicating that if you see a hornets nets built high off the ground that is how high the snow will fall in the winter, but is the old wise-tail true?

In this episode of the breakdown, we will explain if a high hornets nest mean a snowy winter.

Back when this folklore was created, technology was not as sophisticated as it is today. People would look to nature to find clues as to what the future will hold.

This folklore showcases this very ideal. To use the height of a hornets nest, to determine the severity of the forthcoming winter.

While no scientific data has been done to see if this is in fact true, nature and the circle of life, shows us that snow fall and hornets nest height is not equivalent.

A background on how a hornets live their lives. During the winter time the fertilized queen will hibernate below ground or in logs. When spring comes, that is when the queen will select a new nesting location.

A new paper-like structure is built by the queen who lays eggs that then develop into the worker hornets and the hive continues to grow.

Near the end of summer, more eggs are laid, thus creating new queen hornets who will then hibernate when it comes time for the winter.

The reminder of the hive, will then perish in the cold winter, leaving the hive all but deserted.

So in reality, by the time winter is here, the hive is abandoned. The hornets are not affected by the amount of snow that has fallen and does not matter to the deceased hornets or the hibernating queens.

That means this folklore is just that and there is no truth is in the saying. The queen hornet ultimately looks for a good spot to build her nest, no matter the height off the ground.

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