Farm Fun

So, it’s been hot here for weeks, hot and dry and just unpleasant as hell.  Then we got two and a half days of rain, which knocked down the dust and pollen and more than a few leaves.  I decide it would be a good time to catch up on mowing the hills that surround the lower half of the property.  About an hour or so into my job, and with Concrete Blonde blaring from my headphones, I feel a sting on the back of my head.  Now, when I mow, I can count on the occasional bee or wasp sting, usually they fly into me and just bounce off.  Suddenly, I feel another sharp pain near my left eye.  Then another.  Then another.  Before I can make sense of it, I covered with yellow jackets, and the little cuties are attacking me with biblical ferocity.  I ran.  They chased.  One hundred yards later, I call the house to have the Primary Wife pick me up…I can barely see and my face hurts so much I’m afraid I might pass out.  She gets out of the truck, and is promptly stung.  They are embedded in the collar of my shirt, the pockets, under my belt, and under my baseball cap.  We drive up to the main house and start stripping off our clothes like teenagers at an ecstasy party.  The doctor gave me two shots and advised I stay clear of yellow jacket nests.

My hands and face still feel like I’m on fire.

This morning, I took my good eye down to the scene of the crime and the sumbitches are still swarming.  I think I know where the nest is now, and I’m planning a little diesel fuel party tonight….

9 Comments

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9 responses to “Farm Fun

  1. Yow! Not fun at all. Yeah, burn the little bastards out.

  2. I like your punch lines.

  3. Use plenty of gas, those bastards make some major league galleries. My former roomie used to get a magazine on beekeeping and one of the articles about 6-8 years ago was about supercolonies of paperwasps and hornets with more than one queen. One of them had completely filled an old shitbox plymouth in some guy’s barn’s leanto.

  4. DANG! That sounds terrifying! And I think these little fuckers hurt worse than bees.

  5. BTW send us an update on your geothermal system. I’d love to see it sometime. We were interested in that but were given the impression that it’s way more expensive/difficult to do after the fact than when building from scratch.

  6. I could be wrong about this (as is true about most things I say) but I read an article a few months back about bees and hornets. The article, written by sciency guys, said that while hornets sting repeatedly and en masse it is the sting of a the honeybee which is the more problematic for a lot of people. The reason, according to the article is that the hornet uses its sting, primarily, in the process of gatheing food whereas the honeybee uses its exclusivley as a defensive (suicidally so) weapon.

    When honeybee’s sting, the entire contents of the venom sac, as well as the stinger itself are left at the wound sit, fatally injuring the bee in the process. Hornets, otoh, sting AND bite repeatedly because most of their stingiing is done to disable prey that is a miniscule fraction of our mass, each venom injection is much smaller.

    I’m sure that Mack’s ordeal was bad enoug, but had it been africanized honeybees it would have been much, much worse.I

  7. Got to feel for you! Just one of those little devils jammed his stinger in my eyebrow whilst in New Jersey. Uncle Jimmy had a hive on his front porch. He forgot to tell us to come around back! For one thing the impact felt like a tiny mallet. The pain was immediate. My girl got the stinger out and treated me with vinegar and ice.

    Demo,
    As far as I know, most of the colonies of European honeybees in Southern California have been Africanized to some extent. Maybe not the bees in the city. There’s really no way to tell. It probably would be a lot worse if they were to swarm and attack. From what I have seen, they’re just a little bit more nervous than ordinary bees. I have encountered colonies in the Borrego Desert that definitely frightened me away. You can sense the heightened aggression. But they still don’t attack unless they are threatened or provoked. I think the whole phenomenon was overly sensationalized.

  8. Flying Junior:

    No argument from me on that. I think that most anything that is scary, in some way, will get amped to the max by the “If it bleeds, it leads!” media. Having said that, the africanized honeybees in mexico and other central and south american countries have killed a fair number of folks.

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