Kim, this is very common this time of year and it will occur on all kinds of
towers. I've had exactly the same thing to happen on HBX, Rohn 24, 45 and
other kinds much larger.
There is no nest up there. The wasp are looking for a warm place and they
fine it during the day on tower legs. This kind of thing is very common in
the fall of the year. Cold WX and the first freeze will put a stop to it.
They aren't normally aggressive and will just move out of your way while you
move up or down the tower.
73, Gary, K4MQG
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Kimberly Elmore
Sent: Thursday, October 04, 2007 1:00 PM
Subject: [TowerTalk] Swapping out a T2X & Wasps...
Yesterday, the wind was calm enough that I decided it would be a good
dayswap out my jammed T2X with one that I'd rebuilt. So, I prepare
everything and head up my HDBX48 tower (8 ft of mast above the top with
modest antennas: KML-KT34A at top, Cushcraft 40-CD2 at bottom, dipole for
WARC in between plus a VHF/UHF discone at the very top and a 2m/70 cm corner
reflector near the middle). About 2/3 of the way up, I notice that there
seem to be a lot of bugs flying about. I look more carefully and see that
these are wasps. Believing that discretion is the better part of valor, I
"Great, a wasp nest is up there someplace." I get some wasp and hornet
killer, go up a ways, and try squirting the stuff up there but it won't go
far enough and I can't get a good angle, anyway. I thought to use my
pressure washer with some insecticide injected through the injector system,
but the motor won't start (something else to fix). Then, lo and behold!, by
early evening all the wasps are gone. Vanished.
Armed with wasp killer, I start up again. When I get to the mounting plate,
I find that there is no sign of any wasp activity: no nests, nothing. I go
about my business, secure the bottom of the mast with SS hose clamps to each
leg just above the rotator, and make the rotator swap. Darkness falls and I
have to stop, but things are secure enough and I completed it this morning
in more wind than I like. Yet, all went well.
I mentioned this to my kids (8 and 7) and they tell me "Oh, yes, Daddy: we
see wasps up there all the time." First I'd heard of it. In all the years
I've had this tower (going on 20 between Oklahoma and Colorado) I've never
seen the like. Does anyone have a clue as to what's going on? Is there any
way to dissuade these critters? I need to go up there again to set up my 160
m shunt feed...
Kim Elmore, N5OP
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