Beekeeper's Blog : June 12, 2013

It's been a very busy spring....extraction jobs on a regular basis.  This is a short note on being overconfident:

Note to self...Lesson learned yesterday...Inspect closely before diving in don't assume anything when dealing with nature (bees).

I peeked under the foil taped to the bathroom ceiling. It was covering a hole chewed in the sheet rock by the bees.  Surprisingly larger than a few days ago when I first talked to the home owner about removing the bees.  As soon as I peeked under one corner of the foil I was rewarded with four stings and couple of persistent bees in my hair trying to sting more.  Wisely I fled the small bathroom and picked the bees out my hair without giving them much thought or looking at them. Bees are often angry when you disturb them, and in a small space they can get defensive.  These bees seemed especially aggressive (first clue) but I quickly suited up in protective gear and returned to the beehive, now with the light off so as not to attract the bees. 

Yellow Jacket Comb and Nest


In the low light I couldn't see the bees too well, but well enough to see that they were really agitated and covering the wall around the opening.  The comb looked funny, not quite right..(second clue).  The bees were all over me and the wall now, but I was safe in my suit so I turned on the light to get a better look and was faced with a nice big ....yellow jacket nest!

Now for those that don't know, yellow jackets typically nest in the ground and have a reputation of being very mean.  They can sting repeatedly without harm to themselves and seem to like doing so.  The venom is also much more potent than a honeybee and the stings more painful for longer.  All fun stuff! 

Stay calm I told myself and proceeded to vacuum up the hoard of angry bees.....

Now I have a vacuum full of yellow bees very intent on stinging me.  Today will be a test to see how fast I can run when I release them down by the creek!

Yellow Jacket Comb