Generally, wasps are good flyers. Most species of wasps can fly at a few miles per hour. The flying speed of wasps depends not only on their flying abilities but also on external factors, such as wind, and internal factors like the feeling of hunger.
You can outrun hornets over very short or very long distances. The maximum speed of a hornet is around 13.7 miles per hour. People cannot run with such speed for a long time, so there is a high chance that the hornet would catch. Hornets cannot fly on long distances without rest or refueling.
While it can be very easy for humans to run long distances without rest, it is almost impossible for hornets to do so. The speed mentioned above is just an average speed, meaning wasps can fly even faster in certain situations. However, this happens rarely and if the conditions are suitable for that.
How fast can hornets fly?
The way hornets fly is called an indirect flight, meaning they use their thorax to cause their wings to move instead of using wings directly. The contraction of muscles that run from the top to the bottom of the thorax moves the top of the thorax, and this causes the upward movement of the wings.
The wing movement also creates the airflow that supports hornets in the air while flying. Hornets are good and speedy flyers. Their wing beat is around 100 beats per second. They are also very good at using their wind to fly up, down, backward, and forwards.
Like many other wasp species, hornets have four wings, which are connected with hooks. The outer set of wings is longer and bigger, while the inner wings are small. You can’t see the wings of a wasp while it’s flying because of the high wing beat. The flying speed of bees is around 12 miles per hour. It can reach 20 miles per hour as well.
Yellowjackets can go extreme, as their flying speed can range from 6 miles per hour to 30, but they fly at 7 miles per hour on average. On average, hornets fly at around 14 miles per hour. During late fall, hornets get a little more aggressive due to the reduction of food sources and weather changes.
This is also when the queen of the colony is developed, so the colony needs to be more protective than usual. The fastest flyers from the hornet family are the Asian giant hornets that can fly up to 25 miles per hour.
For comparison, the average running speed of a healthy human is about 20 miles per hour. The fastest running speed of a human is 28 miles per hour. Taking this data into consideration will lead to the conclusion that humans can outrun hornets.
However, many factors influence the human’s running speed, such as health, physical condition, etc. And the given data is the average flying speed of hornets, meaning that there can be situations where they can fly faster or slower. Everything depends on external factors and the wasp itself.
How far can hornets fly?
The distance hornets are most likely to fly from their nests, usually depending on the species, habitat, and the hornet’s actual size. The distance may get up to 1 mile from the nest. However, many factors may impact the distance, but usually, the wasps stay close to their nests.
Hornets: Why do they chase you?
There are only a few situations when hornets can start chasing you. These situations usually include the protection of the nest. If the hornets perceive you as a potential threat to the nest, then there is a higher chance that they will try to chase you.
However, hornets are not very aggressive compared to other wasp species, such as yellow jackets. They not only ruthlessly sting but are also able to chase their threat for long distances.
How to outrun hornets
To be able to outrun hornets, you need to be healthy and athletic. You need to run as fast as possible for as long as possible. This is the only way to get away from aggressive hornets without getting stung.
If you accidentally disturbed the hornet’s nest, they would quickly attack you. In this situation, your reaction and running speed are very important. If you disturb the nest, hornets are quick to attack.
Hornets don’t usually chase you for a very long distance. If they are not close to you and are already far away from the nest, they will initially fly back to the nest.
If you faced an aggressive hornet, you should definitely try to outrun it because, in this situation, it’s important to run away from danger as fast as possible and as far as possible. If you’re healthy and athletic, then you should not have any problems with outrunning a hornet.
For children and older people, this can be much harder to do. There is little chance that children, the elderly, injured, or sick people will be able to outrun hornets. If you accidentally disturbed the nest, then the only way to avoid getting stung is to run away as fast as possible until the hornets stop chasing you.
How to come along with hornets?
The main rule is to stay calm and avoid sudden movements. Don’t try to kill the hornet if you see it immediately. It will not help; you will only annoy it. You can rarely see hornets at a picnic, so there is nothing to worry about. Compared to other wasp species, hornets are not aggressive.
Hornets can sting, and it can be very painful for humans, but it isn’t dangerous unless you have an allergy. That’s why try to avoid hornets and their nests, but if you face them, try to slowly walk away from that area (if they are not yet aggressive) or run away as fast as possible (if they start to chase you).