Sunday, November 19, 2017
Cold is the most obvious danger. I didn't find anything that specifically referred to hibernating Bald-faced Hornets, but insects as a group have a wide variety of behavioral and biochemical strategies for preventing and/ or controlling ice formation in their bodies. But many of these strategies partially rely on an insulating blanket of snow; which helps moderate the temperature of the hibernating insect's immediate surroundings; our Minnesota winters seem to be trending towards a less consistent snow cover.
I'm sometimes asked something along the lines "What are they good for?" The quick answer is they prey on other insects, some of which are pests. But I think the best answer is why do they have to be "good" for anything; they are living creatures in their own right and that should be enough.