A Brief Story About Angry Bees
I like exploring the woods around our new house. Not only does it link the mind back to Ye Olden Days of being a dumb 12-year-old kid exploring new places, but it also is interesting to chart the margins of a property that might otherwise not be seen. Plus, I find cool shit! Deer skulls. Weird bugs. Funky fungi. Softballs. Keychains. Evidence in various murder investigations. You know. Cool shit.
Yesterday’s jaunt in the woods had a purpose, though: I was, at the behest of our “arborist” (aka “tree guy”) going through and finding any bad batches of surly plants (like, say, anything with thorns) and Round-Upping those motherfuckers back to oblivion. Thing is, to really get at the heart of such thorny tangles, you actually have to get in the midst of such thatches and spray the bases of the tentacled briar.
Fine. Yes. Did that. No problem. Spray spray spray, la la la, plants go bye bye.
And then I stepped on a half rotten tree branch, about the diameter of a gutter turned upside-down. And then I said, “Hey, that’s weird. The very air around my feet seems to be moving.”
Wasn’t the air. It was, instead, a whole lotta yellow jackets.
Babies, by the look of most of them. They were half the size of the “regular” yellow jackets, but even still, I was pretty sure what I was looking at. Thankfully, I guess yellow jacket babies (I smell a TV show! A Nickelodeon cartoon, maybe?) are kind of fucking stupid? I dunno. All I know is, they didn’t seem to notice me despite the fact I had tromped on their house. So I danced the hell out of there.
Then I went to the shed.
I put down my plant-killing spray.
I picked up my wasp-killing spray.
I picked up my MURDER JUICE.
Stuff has a 20, 25ft spray distance, which is great. I went back to the thorny tangle, and found that indeed, I had truly riled the swarm, because now the adult yellow jackets were all freaking out, wondering what giant kaiju monster had come to stomp on their own personal Tokyo.
Well, Chuckzilla was back, bitches.
I hosed ‘em down good.
I also took a good long stick and tore apart the hive as I did so, making sure to expose as many of those little stingy-bitey assholes to my Murder Juice. I did this for a good five minutes, standing ten feet away and just laughing, laughing at their misfortune. My mockery would not be eternal, however, for what do I see, but a yellow jacket crawling on my shoulder. And I see more starting to orbit. And then I feel it.
Right on my Adam’s apple.
I flicked that little bastard off into the cosmos, then bolted for the house, wasps hot on my tail. I suffered no further stings, but I do think that the same one that stung me also bit me right next to the spot where his vile barbed ass plundered my tender neckmeats. (Wow, that is going to get me some truly freakish search hits. Keep your eyes peeled.)
As Morgan said over the Twitters yesterday, “I wouldn’t respect them if they didn’t go for the throat.”
Word to that. Well-played, yellow jacket warrior. You honor your swarm.
Y’know. The swarm that sucked on my Murder Juice.
(“Sucked on my Murder Juice?” More search terms, incoming.)
I didn’t swell up or anything, though I was a hair worried about the sting being right on the throat. I’ve been stung so many times in the past (once by an angry lot of bumblebees, another time by a nest of yellow jackets lurking at the edge of our driveway) that I guess my body just doesn’t give a damn anymore. Oh, quick tip: to easily remove the stinger, just use a regular razor and shave that spot. Easy-peasy.
Of course, what do I learn after doing a little more research, I learn that yellow jackets are crazy aggressive at summer’s end because it’s like they smell the doom of the nest coming. They go hunting farther and wider for food. They create bigger colonies (just before the colonies perish in fall). They get generally pissy, like cranky old dudes on the porch with shotguns full of rock salt.
So, just a head’s up. If you go tussle with a yeller-jacket nest, watch out: they be some cranky bitches this time of the year. Be advised, bee hunters. Be advised.