Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Stinging Situation

How about those yellow jackets?  Those nasty, mean,  ground-dwelling attack bees? (which aren't really bees at all but rather members of the wasp family). Well, I tangled with some a few weeks ago.  After a long dry spell, we got rain, and the grass began to grow again.  You know how it is in the summer, either feast or famine in the weather department.  In spite of the sweltering heat and humidity, I gassed up the mower and started pushing.  I made one pass down along the fence, turned and started back up the yard.  Ouch...a sharp pain in my leg.  Mower must have picked up a rock or something.  Ow, smack on the other leg - what the heck?  Uh my ear, I'm in trouble.  I had just mowed over a yellow jacket nest.  
Image Source:  Wikimedia

At that point, I left the mower in its tracks and made a mad dash to the house where I was dancing around, swatting, and hollering like a crazy person.  I'm sure it was a hilarious sight, but there was no one there to witness it.  There was some momentary concern since I'd just been stung three times, and  I'm somewhat allergic to honeybees.  What would yellow jackets do to me?  Hubby was working so the only person to look after me was me.  Isn't that when most stuff happens?  A bee flew past my head, I shrieked and flailed some more.  Afraid there might be more on me, I yanked off my T-shirt and threw it on the floor, charged through the house and back, picked up the shirt - no bees, put shirt back on.  

I tried to e-mail hubby, but I didn't have my glasses and my fingers weren't working too well, all that shaking going on I guess.  I grabbed the cell phone instead, and pushed the quick dial's ringing.  I looked down and saw that there still bees on my pants.  Freaking!  Phone off, pants off inside out, left lying on the kitchen floor with one dead bee still attached.  I charged back through the house for more pants.

Sometime in the midst of all that commotion, I had the good sense to swallow a Benadryl.  With all this racing around, I was out of breath, huffing and puffing like a freight train, so when I got hubby on the phone, it took a couple of minutes for him to get the whole story.  Hubby: "I'm leaving now."  Me: "I didn't call you for you to come home, I just wanted you to know what happened."  Hubby:  "I know, but I want to be there".   

Now for the first aid - I made a paste of meat tenderizer and water to neutralize the pain and swelling (which, when compared to honeybee stings, was relatively minor).  Hubby asked me to call him every 10 minutes as he drove home to make sure I was all right.  Needless to say, I didn't finish the mowing.

Have you tangled with these little nasties, and how did you fare?


  1. Gosh, Linda! That sounds very very scary! I'm glad your hubby came right home and I hope you're feeling much better now.

    I don't want to jinx anything (are you listening bees? wasps? hornets?), but I've never been stung. Just the other day, though, when I was getting ready to trim one of our hedges, hubby decided to lend a hand and as he was setting up the ladder, he discovered a huge hornet's nest. I'm just glad we found it before I was up on the ladder and leaning into the hedge.

  2. Thanks, Talon. They hurt for a couple days, and then itched for several more. However, they were much less painful than the last honeybee sting which swelled my foot so much I couldn't touch it to the ground for a week. It looked like it would explode, so I stay well away from them.

    The yellow jackets caused very minimal swelling, but it was just enough to make my work out tennis shoes uncomfortable.

  3. Oh my goodness, I hope you are okay now. I haven't been stung by a bee or wasp in decades, or if I have I haven't noticed. We have these little bees that burrow in the ground in the spring, they are harmless, they don't seem aggressive and I am not even sure they have stingers, but that's about it.

    Your husband is a dear.

  4. Jen- Thank you. Much improved. If you'd been stung, I think you would have noticed! I can't say that the left foot is completely back to normal yet. Apparently, the sting, which was on the front, just above sock level affected the achilles heel tendon - the swelling I guess, although swelling wasn't real noticeable visibly. I don't think it's swollen now, just not quite back to rights, but nearly so.

    And yes, my husband is wonderful. He is somewhat allergic to yellow jackets. The sting he got a few years ago wasn't too bad, but two weeks later he broke out in a rash all over. Delayed reaction to the sting. Now he has an epi-pen.

  5. For some reason, I never read this post. Who knows with me? It made me laugh:~)But I was glad you were okay.

    This would a wonderful fiction story. Think about a teenage girl who trying to get the attention of a new good-looking neighbor boy. She's sent by her daddy to mow the lawn and runs into the yellow jackets.

    All hell breaks lose, clothes come off only for her discover to her mortification, the boy is watching everything and laughing. I don't know the ending, but I'm sure it would a fun story. Just think about it:~)


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