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Gary_Yngve

Wasp Warning

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There's a yellow-jacket nest about 4-5 miles up the Downey Creek Trail were there's a 10-ft-high log blocking the trail and you bypass uphill.

 

Six of my nine stings this weekend were from that nest (5 on the way in, 1 on the way out -- all on my right calf).

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A yellowjacket is a wasp. I was going for the alliteration and thought that Hymenoptera Hassle/Hell was too geeky.

 

They were stings. One of the mofos was having some trouble withdrawing, and as a result just kept on pumping her venoms into me. I swatted and tried brushing her off multiple times before I finally succeeded. Felt like a sustained novacaine injection at the dentist, but injecting poison, not anesthetic.

 

BRING THE NAPALM!

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Gary - heard that the guy signed in for White Rocks Lake got stung 7 times at the same place. I'm feeling pretty good about only getting hit once.

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Two out of three of us got stung coming out of that trail three years ago...but this particular wasp's nest (hornets in this case) was directly above the trailhead permit register station a few dozen yards up from the road. What a great place they chose for their hive to ambush unsuspecting hikers.

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The yellowjackets always seem to be a problem in the late summer like this. Anybody know why?

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Their nests approach maximum size at this time, then they start to diminish as fall approaches. New queens are produced in the next few weeks to go off and find somewhere to overwinter. The hive switches over to sweeter food sources (like coke, etc) later in the season as well, which might account for their apparent peskiness and overall increased interaction with us. They become more frantic in general as fall approaches when they all die off.

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We found a bunch of pissed-off yellow jackets at different locations this weekend on our trips into and out of Sloan. I got 6 stings at one location on the way in, and one on the way out. Another person got 6 stings at the same place I got mine. We probably totaled 25 stings total in our party.

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I know the place you are talking about on Sloan. I was stung there about two weeks ago on the way down. It's on that old stump you stand on just before you mount a large windfall, about 45min to one hour above the river crossing; right? That sucker left me with a golfball-sized welt on my calf for over a week. I managed to outrun his other 50 friends.

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I got a couple stings on the Boston Basin bushwack at two different spots on the way in, and my partner one on the way out. This was Monday. Gary sounds like the winner so far, but heard rumors of even more stings from Bear Mt. recently. Killer bees and vanishing glaciers...

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The bees have been very bad up here in BC this year too. I've never seen it so bad. If you are allergic, please carry an epi pen and make sure it hasn't expired.

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A friend of mine who was hiking thru the Stein said that she saw wasps attacking and eating horseflies and mosquitoes in mid-air. blush.gifcool.gif

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