The above picture is of a wasps nest. I am going on 40 and over my 40 years of life I have been stung by bees, wasps, an entire nest of yellow jackets, and hornets. Needless to say that created a great fear in me of them. Over the past couple years I have gotten better. Instead of running away I now just kill them. But it hasn’t always been like that. Before I tell you my horror stories and yes they are horror stories, did you see the 1979 movie The Swarm? Let me give you some facts.
Did you know that there are around 25,000 known species of bee worldwide (about 4000 species in the US, and over 250 species in Britain)….and there are probably more to be discovered! (WHY anyone would want to discover them I have know idea.) These 25,000 species can be divided into over 4000 genera (types of bees) belonging within 9 groups or ‘families’, all under the banner – or ‘Super-family’ – ‘Apoidea‘. Apoidea also includes ‘sphecoid wasps’, from which bees are believed to be descended.
Wasps are insects, part of the Order Hymenoptera, which also includes ants and bees. Wasps can differ in size, body structure and diet, among other features. They go through several stages of development, including larvae, before becoming adults. Most wasps are classified as symphyta wasps, true parasitic wasps, stinging parasitic wasps and predatory wasps. The number of known wasp species is larger than 100,000.
Hornets are the largest types of the commonly called yellow jackets or wasps. Most of these insects can be found in the continent of Asia and Europe and some were brought by eastern civilization to the northern part of America. The natural habitat conducive to hornets is the countries with warm climate and/or even tropical. That is the reason why hornets from non-tropical countries are smaller than those from the tropical countries because their growth is affected by habitat. There are only three kinds of hornets which are named based on their physical appearances and the continents where they are abundantly found, namely; bald-faced hornets, European hornets and Asian giant hornets. In every hive or every colony of these insects, there are also three types of hornets; there is always a queen, the drones and the workers. Each of them functions as they are expected to be.
Now that you have a few facts about these vile creatures, here are a few horror stories. Growing up in Florida, we were surrounded by Honey Bees, Bumble Bees, Yellow Jackets, Sweat Bees, Mud Dobbers, and Hornets to name a few. Playing in my pool as a kid I would get stung all the time by honey bees, yes I know in theory they aren’t supposed to sting unless you sit on them or disturb their nest, well they will also sting if they come to your pool for water and they feel threatened by you.
There was another time me and my cousin were walking from the bus stop to my grandmothers house. Now the day before we noticed a yellow jackets nest in the ground so we made note of it so we didn’t disturb it next time we came through. We climbed the fence and crossed to my grandmothers back yard and went on with our day. Next day we get off the bus, we notice a riding lawn mower parked up against a tree like it had ran into it, still running. Wondering why we continued on, we looked for the nest but couldn’t find it. That’s when we realized what must have happened. They guy ran over the nest with the lawnmower and got attacked. So I ran to the fence and started to climb. Half way up and I was hit. The nest of yellow jackets attacked. I dropped off the fence ran screaming, arms flailing wildly not 3 feet from my cousin, yet not one yellow jacket attacked him, back to the street down the road. There was a guy on the corner watering his yard, he saw me and hosed me down. I still felt them, so I ran out to the main road down it, back up the road to my grandmothers and up to her house. They took off my shirt and some were inside. They counted over 25 stings that day. From that day on I was terrified of them.
There was another time when I was in North Carolina visiting some friends. They had a creak that ran by their house on a limb above the creak was a huge hornets nest. Needless to say I tried my best to stay away from it. But one day I was walking along the side of the house and as I got to the concrete stairs that led down to the basement I felt something that felt like a bullet hit me in my hip under my belt and I immediately dropped and fell down the steps. I pulled open my pants at that spot and there was a smashed dead hornet. I apparently killed it when I slapped my hand where it had stung me. That was, at that point in my life, the most horrible pain I had ever felt. Yet another reason I was terrified of these things and feel these agents of satan should be wiped from the earth.
Now fast forward, I am in the Air Force, I am stationed at Cannon AFB, Clovis, New Mexico. The lovely state that is all beach and no ocean. They have bees the size of nats to bees the size of small birds (I am not kidding these things are prehistoric). I’m driving home one day with my window down and just as I start to pull into the trailor park I lived at I heard this loud buzz by my ear and something hit the back windshield. I thought a bird had flown in the car. So I immediately stopped. I got out of the car, walked to the back and peered in the back windshield to see what it was. Sure enough it was one of those demon bees the size of my hand. Well, that was it for me. I left the car there, keys in the ignition, car running and I walked home to the trailor. I told my ex if she wanted the car she could go get it (now she is allergic to bees). Her sister was visiting so she walked back with me to get the car. I looked again and thankfully it had flown out. So I was able to get my car back and drive back home.
So in 1995 I get stationed at Eielson AFB, Alaska. We get there, rent an apartment in North Pole Alaska, it is surrounded with rasberries. Great right? Well, the summer of 1995 just so happened to be the worst year on record for Yellow Jackets in Alaska, and they loved those rasberry bushes. I was in hell all summer. They would get in the apartment all the time and I was constantly throwing my boot at the window from across the room trying to kill them. I’m lucky I never broke the window.
Now with my horror stories out of the way we still have these nasty demons on the prowl. Moving into our homes, our garages, and now that the African Honey Bee has been infused into North American hives that has only made things worse. I know, I know, your saying they all have their place. Honey bees make honey, well we can make synthetic honey, screw the honey bee. Wasps and hornets, and all the other bees polinate the flowers and trees and they kill other insects, blah blah blah blah blah, yea well the wind polinates, other flowers polinate, other insects polinate and other insects and bugs eat other insects and bugs. Until you have been terrified of them you can’t understand the need to have them wiped from the earth. Have you ever taken a close look at them? They have stingers on their ass and their faces look like a demons face. I say they were created by satan himself. Down with the Bee, Wasps, and Hornets! Below is a picture of a African Honey Bee Swarm in Orlando Florida.