Monday, July 21, 2008

What I Learned Today...


When you're clearing brush from a meadow in a nature preserve, and a yellowjacket from a nearby nest jumps you, just brush them off and briskly retreat; don't swat them on your clothing and expect to go about your business as if nothing had happened. The smell of smashed yellowjacket on your shirt is like waving a red flag in front of every other yellowjacket in the place. Trust me, I know...now.
(Picture above of an equally disgruntled honeybee)

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Comments:
I'm terrified of bee stings! I'm not allergic, but my daughter is deathly allergic to bee stings. I love their lazy buzz in the garden, but they make me nervous just the same. I hope you didn't get stung too badly.
 
Yellow Jackets are nasty characters. We just got rid of a nest in my garden. I hated to do it but it was dangerous. I hope you are OK.
 
Hi Don,
Good advice about the yellow jackets, just back off because unlike the bees they can sting you repeatedly and painfully (as I'm sure you know). I can't stand yellow jackets, but can't send enough love the bees' way.

You probably know this already, but there's a great, handy garden fix for accidental bee stings ... that omnipresent broad leaf plantain that grows everywhere (at least around here). When I accidentally got stung by a bumblebee last year (it was MY fault), I just broke off a few leaves, crushed them and put them on the sting as a temporary poultice. Works like a charm and calms the sting very quickly.
 
Since I started flower gardening, I've learned that basically if I ignore them, they ignore me. But I really had forgotten that advice about not smashing them--thanks for the reminder! Enjoyed browsing your site. Pat
 
Had a nest under our front porch last summer. I think I got away lucky considering your experience.
 
A real difficulty of ignoring them is that they will nest in inconvenient places. I found a next in one of my hanging plants last year. I went to move the plant and didn't realize what I had stumbled into until they were all over me. The emergency room bill was sizable. They even had to cut off my wedding ring.
Of course I do not know what is the answer. I guess you just have to pay attention and watch for the critters.
Not bad advise as to many things.
 
I wouldn't consider it summer if I didn't get whacked by at least one yellowjacket, but this was really irritating in that everyplace I went, the yellowjackets were in my face, just from smelling the smashed one. It was creepy; I'd go clear to the other side of the meadow, and there'd be another yellowjacket buzzing me, then two or three... I just gave up and went home.

Don
 
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