Winter Weather Lore and Wasps’ Nests

More signs from nature of what we can expect for the winter ahead include how the wasps are building their nests. What are they doing in your back yard?

A couple of years ago, the facilities manager here at Farmers’ Almanac mentioned that he was sure we would be having a snowy winter here in Maine. When asked how he knew, he mentioned the height of wasps’ nests he was seeing. In his travels around the property, he spotted a nest built high in the eaves of one of the buildings.

See how high the hornet’s nest, ‘twill tell how high the snow will rest.

So, in addition to the signs of a hard winter shared we can add the height of a wasp nest as another sign from nature to watch.

What Does Weather Lore Say About Wasps’ Nests?

Weather lore tells us: If you see a wasps nest built low to the ground, expect little snow. If you see one built high, expect a lot of snow. The official weather lore rhyme goes like this:

See how high the hornet’s nest, ‘twill tell how high the snow will rest.

While we don’t use wasp’s nest in our formula to predict the weather, we do enjoy the folklore and paying attention to how our ancestors prepared for the winter ahead.

What about where you live? Have you seen wasps’ nests built up high or low to the ground?

Read more about wasps and how to deter them!

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Farmers' Almanac - Weather forecasting
Peter Geiger

Peter Geiger is the Editor of the Farmers' Almanac. Read his full biography.

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They are in the ground what does that mean for winter


I have 2 nests within 50 yards of each other about 12′ to 15 ‘ from the ground…


I have seen more hornet nests this fall than ever before . Within a 1/4 mile of our house there are are six about twice a football size and 3 or 4 smaller ones. And they are anywhere from as low as 3 feet to 20-30 feet high in the trees.

sharon smith

i have seen 3 different heights of nests from trees so far i live in vt

Susan Higgins

Interesting! Be sure to watch for snowfall this winter. And remember, the saying comes from folklore, so it’s just a fun observation.

Linda K

We have NONE around our farm this year, unless they are soooo high I don’t notice them. I’ll be looking. Manchester, Michigan

Mary Midkiff

There is a hornets nest in my front bushes pretty close to the ground in Belvidere Illinois. I will be fascinated to see if there isn’t much snow this winter. It got shredded up by a skunk and they rebuilt it. That’s a detractor for building it so low. ?


WEe have 2 hornets nests being built. One is on our deck behind a 4’ sign and the other is in our mailbox, 4’ off the ground.


We have one here in Marlboro, Me. It is built 40-50 feet off the ground!


’bout right for Maine!

Jill farmer

We have one in Tennessee where we live and it’s big down the road way up up high in tree hangs over the road I thought if they hung high high that meant snow ⛄️ always was told that as a kid!!


We had a wasp nest about 10 to 12 feet high here in southwest pennsylvania. Our town is right at the bottom of the Chestnut ridge.

Susan Higgins

We’ll have to watch and see what happens in your neck of the woods!

Ginnie Wiseman

Found a hornet’s nest about 30′ off the ground on a tree limb. (Southern Indiana)

Ellen Griffin

Found a Bald Faced Hornets Nest 20 ft off the ground in my Eves on the House (SE Indiana).

Daniel Peeler

Bald Faced Hornets pack a serious punch when they sting!! (Indy Area)


We have noticed wasp nest 15 – 20 feet off the ground others 2 feet off the ground. Also alot more yellow jackets this year than last . What does this mean? Boise,Idaho.

Amber Miller

Hornet nest in ground found when making s’mores with mom and cousin

Brad kays

Found a hornets nest about 4 foot high in Missouri today.


I live in Maine and I have a wasp nest thats about 30 feet up in one of my maple trees.


I have on in my tree this year, it was 5 feet from the ground, and also seen them in the ground this year in 2017, what does this mean for West Virginia

Janis in PA

My neighbor spotted one in a tree in my yard that hamgs over the road about 30ft off the grou


I have seen several wasp nests higher then 20 feet off the ground here in Michigan. And last year they were low to the ground and we had little accumulated snow in this area. So if it holds true to the saying, we are in for a LOT of snow!

Lisa W.

I’m a facility manager in central illinois and we have one huge nest 40′ up on the side of the buildinbg inaccessible by anything but a boom truck.

Mike Rogers

Just found a nest in Maine, a little larger than a football and less than 4′ off the ground.


I live in Gardiner Me. And I just found one about 4 ft off the ground aldo.


I live in Ontario Canada and have one 7ft off the ground on my garage frame . I also sat on a park bench yesterday and got swarmed by wasps that built their nest under the park bench .


Found a large yellow jacket nest high in the chimney 20+ft in Arlington, TX. This is a first. I’m hoping this is a farmer’s tale.


In Washago Ontario I saw a wasp nest on the power line near the top of the pole.

Shirley Ranger

Here in northern Ontario, Canada, spotted a huge wasp nest, over 40′ high in a maple tree, and also ran into a wasp ground nest this summer close to the one in the tree, near the house. How can you determine what the snow amount will be for our winter of 2016-2017?

Sonja Snow

We spotted a large paper nest literally on the ground attached to a bush. In Montgomery county ohio

Ronald Douglas

Well,I don’t know what all this means,but hear in southeastern ohio,I have nest as high as 12 feet,those black wasp,i had to get rid of by my window,had about 200 wasp in it,I hated to get rid of them,but they were being a pain,


I live in northern Ontario and we’ve had several wasps nests in the ground at the cottage.. Never seen that many in the ground before!

connie clark

Uncle Buck, try spraying the nest with soapy water after you killed them, it’s suppose to get rid of their scent so the wasp won’t come back. I used Bonner’s castile soap with peppermint, they never came back.


several wasp nests in varying sizes noticed on the underside of my eave on garage & one at the apex of the roof eave. now i’m worried that this upcoming winter will be snowier than normal. live in illinois, s.w. suburb of chicago

Phyllis Lam

I have tons of bees nests all around but not high in the eves BUT now you go up the canyons such as transfer flats Oneida narrows up threw mink creek and cub river the nests of hornets r built clear to the tops of a lot of trees I am guessing we will get our snow in the mountains this year that will be good as we rely on the snow for water during summer months for farming and gardening

Tanya T

What about hight of Preying Mantis nests ? Any corilation to snow fall?
I have bees… Kid what kind in my fireplace box 6-7′ up & in my eves 30′ up so I guess Baltimore is going to get pummeled again 🙂


Here in central pa, have alot of wasp getting in our house. found nest up in corner of front porch roof about 12′ off ground. must be another nest cause now they are coming in the back of the house. Hardly saw any bees all summer.


bangor maine usually all over the place even in garage eves and no nests around except one in stump but when I used weedeater down there that day haven’seen anymore anywhere.


We were mowing today here in Illinois and ran over a hornets nest on the ground does anyone know what that is supposed to mean for the winter


The wasps around my place always build in or near the same spots every year and the snow has been anywhere from very little to way too much


This summer in North TX, 6 wasps nests found around our house. All around high and around roofing. Hmmm.

D. Smith

Here in the Black Hills of SD we’ve had numerous wasp nests reported all the way from 2 feet off the ground, to the highest branches of the ponderosa pines in friend’s yards. Out in the actual hills where the pines are very thick, if you go hiking, there are far more spiders this year than wasps. Don’t know what this means for sure, but we are to a point where we could sure use the moisture. This past spring we got almost too much rain for too long, but since July we’ve had very little. I rather hope we get a lot of snow, since winter is my favorite time of year!


Just found two wasp nest in trees on our property (Lancaster County PA) they are both about 15 feet up.


Here in northeast New-Brunswick, we have had as many nests up in the buildings (barns + sheds) as we have on the ground , and this is speaking from too many encounters with them just walikng around outside. (Ouch!!!!)


I live in the Southwest, for the first time in many years I have not spotted Wasp nests low, they are high up. Snow perhaps for the Southwest? Just had a major coldfront yesterday, dropped 40*f from one day to the next. A few weeks early for us. Thanx Farmers Almanac, you are awesome 🙂


I live just north of Toronto, Canada. And I’ve been battling a hive of wasps for a couple of months. They squeezed in behind the aluminum siding. I’ve tried spraying inside, they buzz around until the spray dries up and then back to they’re routine and I don’t want to tear up the siding. So now I,m just waiting for the colder temps. I’ve lived here 20 yrs. and this is the first time this has happened…..


forgot to mention my location……Alabama…..wasp built 8 ft under my porch near my front door South facing…..( I always welcome them)


under my porch 8 ft. in height. (I’ve always welcomed them…all types)

Daniel R. Bowne

I’m in Southwest Missouri and have lots of hornets, wasps and bees of many types but haven’t really checked where there nests are. They seem to be all over, high and low.

Kimberly Goncalves

I live in Wallingford CT, and have a wasps nest about 8 feet high, under my back porch. Thanks for all your valuable information. I love Farmers Almanac 🙂


guess according to folk lore, We are going to have hard cold winter with little snow ..we have had a huge 2′ long black hornet nest built on lower branch of shrub ended up resting on the ground, then another in top roof gable of house approx 15+ feet height, yet yellow jackets built one under the front porch and another in low to ground in back of house..
located south eastern side of Alberta, Canada


Huge nest, located 14 foot up a pear tree. Upper Bucks Cty, northeastern Pennsylvania


We have a huge wasp nest inside our attic vent. I also found one inside a little wooden house I had sitting on the sidewalk. We discovered on inside the changing room on our pontoon boat. So I am not sure what the weather will be like this winter


I have never seen so many wasp nest as I have this year here in north east Ky . They have nested inside my storage trailers and outside they are at least 20 feet up on waves of house and in some windows .

Duncan Ritchie

We have a large nest on the eaves of the second floor of our home in southern Ontario, in the Niagara Peninsula. This is the first one I have seen around our property in 8 years. Our neighbour has a fake paper nest hung on their pool house, so looks like they are seeing similar pests. Looks like it will be a snowy winter here!


Hornet nest on the side of my storage shed, about 6 – 6 1/2 ft high.

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