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Author Topic: Yellow Jackets attacking my dad  (Read 187 times)

Offline amy1214

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Yellow Jackets attacking my dad
« on: June 18, 2016, 06:59:57 PM »
My father lives near Cleveland, Ohio and for the last 4 years has been getting repeatedly stung (or bitten?) by yellow jackets. He is not a bee keeper nor does he do any obvious behavior that would warrant him being attacked by bees more so than any other person.  He is getting bit 3-11 times per attack, and he gets attacked 1 to 4 times per week.  Location does not matter (central valley of California, Ohio, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina). Temperature does not matter - he has been stung in nearly freezing temperatures, rain, and heat.  Despite changing diet, detergent, using Off, essential oils, artemisia: nothing has worked. He even tried wearing Burnt Rubber air freshener and was stung.  He does not wear deodorant.  He knows it is yellow jackets because he has on very rare occasions killed and saved them.  We are trying to think of what has changed about his lifestyle but nothing is perfectly coinciding.  He has had several surgeries for his neck and knees but some were 10 years ago and his neck was operated on 2 years ago. 

I would greatly appreciate any help or insight you can offer! 
Amy

Offline divemaster1963

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Re: Yellow Jackets attacking my dad
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2016, 10:46:39 PM »
Have you checked the color of clothing. Keep a journal of everything he does and wears. Got to be something or he's very unlucky when it comes to yellow jackets. What activity was he doing at the moment of getting stung?  He maybe active  in locations of nests. Yellow jackets defend their nest heavely. Yellow jackets normally are somewhat docile away from nests unless around food.

John

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Yellow Jackets attacking my dad
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2016, 01:36:09 PM »
>He is not a bee keeper nor does he do any obvious behavior that would warrant him being attacked by bees more so than any other person.

Yellow jackets are NOT bees.  My guess is there is a strong nest in the ground somewhere close by and they are being defensive.  Not that a yellow jacket seems to need an excuse to sting, but at the rate you are talking about it's probably a defensive move from a nearby nest.
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Offline GSF

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Re: Yellow Jackets attacking my dad
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2016, 01:48:58 PM »
amy, Has he been stung in different geographical locations or just in one given area? If it's one area they he's disturbing the nest. You can disturb a yellow jacket nest just by walking by it, and you don't have to be close either. They go by the vibrations you give of when you walk.

We use to find a yj nest by going to a given area and stomping the ground. Then you'd follow them (with your eyes) to where they would return to the ground. Then it's all over but the 87 octane.
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Offline amy1214

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Re: Yellow Jackets attacking my dad
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2016, 05:58:40 PM »
Thanks John.  What colors would you suggest he wear?  This happens so often that he has likely been in the whole rainbow when he's been stung, but I will let him know to wear better colors.  I like your suggestion of logging his activities when he is stung.  He is doing all sorts of activities: walking on paths, walking out of his house to the car, writing estimates for customers cars, yard work, walking out of restaurants to his car, walking on sandy path to get to beach.  I feel like it can't be his behavior.  They have even come over to "check out" my mom, left her alone and stung him.  Perhaps he is emitting some sort of attack pheromone?  But he was never stung by them prior to 4 years ago.

Thanks Michael and GSF.  He is getting stung all over town and all over the country.  They live in a very wooded area on 3 acres where others live on large amounts of land as well.  Locating and removing the hive(s) on his property would help when he's at home, but not elsewhere.  I sincerely appreciate all the help.

Amy

Offline divemaster1963

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Re: Yellow Jackets attacking my dad
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2016, 08:00:20 PM »
I was talking about this at work and one of the guys aksed if he wears one type Cologne. That his father had the same problem years ago and that it was like  yellow jackets had a bounty on him. Took them a year to year figure it out. By chance does he like to wear one brand of Cologne or aftershave. They can change with the chemistry of the body so for years have no problem them all of sudden he's giving off a attack pheromone that the yellow jackets recognize.
Medications can do this to. I can't take one drug because when it goes through my system my pets can't resist the taste of my skin and will not stop licking my legs when I wear shorts or my arms. Drove me nuts and kept correcting the dogs and wasn't even there fualt. Doctor figured it out and I stopped taking and the dogs stopped doing that.

John
« Last Edit: June 23, 2016, 08:14:44 PM by divemaster1963 »

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Yellow Jackets attacking my dad
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2016, 11:44:23 PM »
Amy,
If I try to work my hives or even swarms after sweating real bad or if my hair is dirty, the bees will bee very aggressive and sting me in the head. I have stopped and washed my hair and the bees were totally different and calm.
Jim
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Offline amy1214

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Re: Yellow Jackets attacking my dad
« Reply #7 on: Today at 03:40:01 PM »
Thanks a lot.  He is incredibly fortunate in that he takes no medication daily.  He does have a titanium implant in his neck (they were stinging him for years prior to that and after the surgery one even went down his neck brace to sting him) and had two knee replacements 10 years ago (yellow jackets started stinging him 4 years ago).  He showers daily and uses no deodorant or after shave (he has tried in the past using deodorant and aftershave and still gets stung).  We are on vacation right now on the Outer Banks of NC and he is using shaving cream, but normally he uses Cetaphil soap/lotion to shave with.  He is getting stung at the same rate using the shaving cream as when he is home in Ohio using the unscented lotion. He seems to be safe on the shoreline but gets stung when he is on the land side of the dunes.  There may be a nest nearby, but even last year he was stung when we rented a different house. 

I agree that his body chemistry/pheromones are causing these attacks.  I sincerely appreciate all the responses so far and look forward to any more insight others can provide.
Thanks!!