Large bees nest on the WHP Trail

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Large bees nest on the WHP Trail

New postby dave » Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:39 am

Sometime over the weekend a Black Bear overturned a large 250 pound boulder on the trail to Windham High Peak. Under the rock was a nest of bees. The boulder was too big to get out so the bear left. Hiker hiking through the conifer forest above the lean-to were getting stung by the angry bees.

The bees nest is located in the middle of the conifer forest above lean-to (not the conifers around the lean-to). After climbing up a steep section, the trail levels off and then climbs up another section. The nest is under an overturned boulder at the bottom of the second steep section. Every time a hiker walks by they get agitated and sting people. Some people are being stung a 1/4 mile away from the nest. Look for a 250 pound rock that has been flipped up, but not out of the hole it was in. There is some blue construction tape about 1/4 mile below the nest denoting the bees.

It is believed that they are hornets. Hornets usually don't nest underground, but these seem to be under a hollow below the rock.
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Re: Large bees nest on the WHP Trail

New postby kennykb » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:05 pm

Glad I did WHP the week before this!
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Re: Large bees nest on the WHP Trail

New postby mtnclimber » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:52 pm

It's that time of year where the bees nest get to their maximum size. Lots of water and flowers, so there should also be lots of bees.

Hey kennykb - the bees where probably there, but not all riled up in a frenzy. Lucky you didn't get stung.

Also heard that there was a Copperhead up there. Never heard of them up there.
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Re: Large bees nest on the WHP Trail

New postby kennykb » Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:35 pm

mtnclimber wrote:It's that time of year where the bees nest get to their maximum size. Lots of water and flowers, so there should also be lots of bees.

Hey kennykb - the bees where probably there, but not all riled up in a frenzy. Lucky you didn't get stung.

Also heard that there was a Copperhead up there. Never heard of them up there.


Didn't see any copperhead, but there was a whole mess of garter snakes

Image
Why does it always have to be snakes? by ke9tv, on Flickr
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Re: Large bees nest on the WHP Trail

New postby mike » Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:49 pm

I was up there the other day. Loads of garter snakes. Probably a dozen near the summit. I did see two garter snakes on the rock where Kevin took his picture.

Never heard of a copperhead anywhere near Windham. But, they do exist in Oak Hill and Preston Hollow, which is about 7-10 miles away. I suppose it is possible. More of a freak event. I think there there must be a deep hollow on the top for them to hibernate. They usually move to those spots this time of year. If you get tagged by one, it is just a pain event. You will not die or be injured by them.
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Re: Large bees nest on the WHP Trail

New postby kennykb » Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:02 pm

Yeah, and copperheads, lacking a rattle, often give a "warning bite" that they don't envenomate at all (although it still has to be treated as any other animal bite, and animal bites are usually pretty nasty). Most ER docs won't give antivenin for a copperhead unless the patient starts having respiratory distress or compartment syndrome.
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Re: Large bees nest on the WHP Trail

New postby bikenhike » Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:13 pm

Lot of bees this year. more then I have seen in previous years. The nest are now reaching maximum size. Been a lot of medical emergencies this year too. Will have to be careful over the next month.

WHP is known for lots of garter snakes on top. Just be a big nest up there. But, I don't think the copperheads hibernate with garter snakes. I thought that the only place you could find copperheads is at the bottom of Platte Clove (West Saugerties). Maybe just a freak occurance. Also, water snakes look very similar to copperheads. Maybe she is wrong on the identity.
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Re: Large bees nest on the WHP Trail

New postby kennykb » Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:31 pm

I've certainly never seen a copperhead anywhere in the Cats above or behind the Escarpment. The Gunks and Hudson Highlands are another story.
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