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Author Topic: Yellow Jacket question  (Read 1151 times)
Drogo4
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« on: January 06, 2010, 01:53:26 AM »

Hi guys, I don't know much about bees.  I am not even quite sure if this is the forum to ask, but you guys seem pretty smart.  When i was little, my brothers and I were playing in the backyard near these large boulders (upstate NY).  One of my brothers decided he wanted to build a fort between two boulders and began tugging on an old christmas tree dumped there that was lodged in between the boulders.

I am quite sure you can imagine what happened next.  a cloud of yellow jackets came bursting on the scene and chased my brothers back to the house.  They were stung multiple times, I recall my brother getting stung 18 times.  After comparing amounts of bee stings and bragging about it, they realized they left me at the boulders!

There I was, as still a statue standing at attention and not one yellow jacket landed on me.  NO STINGS WHATSOEVER! I think i was about 6 years old at the time, and I remember being taught that when in a situation like this you should stand completely still.

My question is, did I take the proper course of action by not running and standing still on top of one the boulders?  If not, then why didn't I get stung?

My brother is a pastor and he recently preached about this.  I would post the link but I think im not allowed.  I will ask the admin.

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gaucho10
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« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2010, 06:57:00 AM »

Maybe your brother "got the calling" and you did not. grin
Maybe he was wearing some type of cologne and you were not?!
Most likely you did not disturb the nest  cool but he was the culprit  evil so they chased him. rolleyes
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JP
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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2010, 08:09:37 AM »

Bees & wasps pick up on the co2 we breathe out. Consider yourself lucky you didn't get stung. Seems your brothers were the main targets as they were the ones who directly disturbed the nest. What was the temperature then?


...JP
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iddee
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« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2010, 08:49:16 AM »

One of our favorite tricks on a new kid in the neighborhood was to tell them all about how terribly bad wasp stings were. Then tell them to see how fast they could run when we knocked the nest down. As the nest came down, we would drop to the ground and lie quiet. They would run. They always got stung. We never did. Yes, the wasps, and the YJ's, go for movement. Stay still and you most likely will not be stung.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*
Drogo4
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« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2010, 06:38:03 PM »

Nice to know it was the right thing to do! Thanks for the quick reply.  I believe it was about summer time, im not sure though, it was definately a temperate day, i was young so its hard to remember.  I suppose that if your interested the way my brother talked about it, look me up on facebook, Peter Chiapperino, its the last video i posted.
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D Coates
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2010, 04:52:24 PM »

Ever since I was about 10 I figured out the best sunfish bait was paper wasp grubs.  We lived on a secluded lake outside of San Antonio, TX that had cliffs.  The paper wasps had exposed nests under rock overhangs.  Try as I might I couldn't steal a nest without getting stung.  I tried rocks, sticks, and rifles to bring them down and I would always get stung.  Until I stumbled onto and read in Time/Life kids book how the eyes of an insect worked.  Basically hold still and they don't know your there.

I worked up the courage to stand just off to the side of a paper wasp nest 15 foot high with a lifeguard pole.  I hooked the rounded portion behind the nest.  I closed my eyes and pulled.  I could hear it falling, hitting the ground 3 to 5  foot away.  I held perfectly still, eyes closed.  I could feel the air coming off the wings as they hovered around me.  It was the dead of summer and I was wearing shorts and a tank top.  It took two or three minutes until I didn't hear them any more.  I slowly opened my eyes, bent down, picked up the nest, crept off.  I was quite fired up about being successful and had fish bait for the next few days.

I've easily done it over a hundred times.  Only once did I get stung and that was when I got cocky and opened my eyes too soon.  I got stung twice in the right eyelid (OUCH!).  The last time I did this was about 6 years ago (I'm now 41 and the property was unfortunately sold).  It worked as well then as it did the first time I did it.  That long ago lesson is honestly what got me into thinking I could handle bees.  Running or fast movements attract attention whereas holding still and moving slowly makes one all but invisible.
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Mason
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« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2010, 11:46:29 AM »

I have seen yellow jackets disturbed all go for one person or animal and seemingly leave everyone else alone.  My neighbor disturbed a yellow jacket nest with his lawn mower once and they all came out and attacked his little boy playing nearby.  I heard the commotion and went running over to see him stripping off a yellow jacket covered shirt off of his son.  He only got stung once or twice but it was pretty serious for his son with probably 50 or more hits.  The yellow jackets were definitely focusing their attack on the little boy and leaving us alone.

Hornets and yellow jackets are nothing to play around with and can be vicious.  Standing still may work but once they have you in their sights my advice would be to do whatever you need to do to get away from the situation. 

 
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iddee
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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2010, 05:26:02 PM »

Once the guard pheremone has been placed, Mason is right. Until the first sting, don't move.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*
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