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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    12,305

    Anybody getting stung by killer bees ?

    For many many years I have a deal with bees. I always explain it to them again each time:

    Look; I mean you no harm. You have your work - I have mine. I'll keep my hands to myself if you do the same. Just let me go about my business in peace - and I won't bother you. I promise.

    But . . . if you start with me - I will kill you, your friends, your family, and everything that even Looks like you. So please: mind your business and no harm will come to you or me.

    I have always kept my end of the deal and so have the bees.

    So the other day I had to work on two rooftop units. There were bees in the burner section but none in the control panel, the condenser section, or the disconnect. When I crouched down to pull the control panel cover I saw them come out on the louvers to look at me. They did their little threatening advance/retreat move and so I warned them nicely: Look; we can all be like Fonzie here. I will not hurt you and yours - you just go about your routine little bee business and I'll be out of your way in no time.

    So the pussy SOB's stayed put there but kept sort of glaring at me. Until I turned the other way to get a meter out of my tool pouch. Then two one them zoomed over to my hand. I felt them as they touched the hair on my hand and right before they stung me. One did get me lightly on the back of my wrist but I was too quick for the other one and backhanded him away and spun out of my crouch to take off.

    But then the whole gang of them came out and after me. I had used a high reach to get up to the roof ad it was pretty far back to get back to it. They gave up before I got to it so I went down and got six cans of industrial bee killer spray. With a can ready in each hand I went back but the little SOB's saw me coming and came out flying towards me.

    Whatever this canned stuff was I could drop them right out of the air with it. So I got the brave first and then went in for the rest and doused them all well. Weirdly they were all furiously scrambling to get out and apparently trying to get to me rather than away.

    So, in keeping with my decades old vow - I went to every machine and killed every single one of them.

    But now, two days later, my wrist still aches and my whole forearm Really itches. Also, very weirdly; every old scar on my hand and arm is suddenly red and puffy. It makes me wonder if these were deranged death-wish killer bees?

    For many many years bees have been cool with The Deal. Which is a reasonable approach in my opinion: This guy won't hurt us, we can leave him alone, and in return he won't kill us all. That seems fair.

    But these bees were either prouder of their abilities than was really warranted, or were just crazy with a death wish.

    Anybody else running into crazy / or killer, bees out there?
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    180
    Were they honey bees or yellow jackets? Yellow jackets will sting just for fun and their venom is a little more potent. We get them around here and they are nasty little critters.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    180
    Oh and benadryl will stop the itching and puffiness.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    383
    I love Canada, don't have to worry bout killer bees here, too cold!

    Sent from my SGH-I747M using Tapatalk 4 Beta

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Western, KY
    Posts
    3,156
    I have the same arrangement but if there are wasps in the disconnect or panel I'm working on I go ahead and kill them as a shoot first ask questions later type deal and smash the nest.

    These guys got my hand as soon as I opened the disconnect, WD-40 works as well. About three stings, they weren't very bad and didn't have any lingering effects.

    Take some anti histamines if you have a reaction.

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    12,305
    I am not a bee expert but my guess would be yellow jackets. Which are what I generally encounter and with whom I've had the long term agreement. I don't think they want to sting me and then die. How much fun can That be?

    And then they have crazy commando me to wreak havoc with all their still living relatives besides. There's no future in hurting me. <g>

    This gang just seemed out of their minds to me. Usually I can reason with them but these were like crackhead bees or something. And then the fact that they waited to sucker me - come on now: what Could they have expected?

    PHM
    -------

    Quote Originally Posted by JDenyer232 View Post
    Were they honey bees or yellow jackets? Yellow jackets will sting just for fun and their venom is a little more potent. We get them around here and they are nasty little critters.
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    near knoxville tenessee
    Posts
    170
    yellow jackets are the worst but they are not usually in units. Its those dam wasps that get in the units. My wife and i are recovering from a stroll in the woods. Stepped on an old decayed log and a cloud of them covered us up. Lots of benadryl and cortizone 10. Still ithes after 3 days.
    I know everything about HVAC/R until i go to the next call.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Sonora, California, United States
    Posts
    1,022
    those yellow jackets are so bad here in cali, I have atleast 15 nests right here at my house, every 3 feet theres a damn nest under the gutter and under the deck.

    once one decides to sting you it leaves a pheromone scent that tells all the others to attack you, thats why the little solder got you and then the clan came next.

    worst job so far was a few years back, commercial building all A/C's and here is this one swamp cooler in the middle, no water anywhere close and I got to see why this thing is leaking, open it up and the damn float valve is broken and I quickly notice that there is 6 nests inside this cooler, no spray on my vehicle, ladder is close by so once they start stinging im SOL till I hit the ground, I did the poodle head chat with them and proceeded to change the valve, it was like an air traffic control station buzzing in and out right by my head, plus the water that had been leaking on the roof the rest of the damn wasps where coming for that. I made it out of there without problems but now I carry wasp spray cause yellow jackets are like rattle snakes, unpredictable!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    753
    Quote Originally Posted by Poodle Head Mikey View Post
    I am not a bee expert but my guess would be yellow jackets.
    For the sake of my curiosity, I wondered if they were killer bees...or "just" yellow jackets? Somehow, "killer" alarms me more, although my own experiences with yellow jackets were ALL memorable.

    I thought there would be a clearer physical distinction since a yellow jacket is a wasp. However, I got curious and looked around on the internet and found they look remarkably similar. I'm now certain than, if I saw one next to another, I wouldn't know the difference.

    I don't know where you live, but I guess you can only suspect their being "killer bees" if you live in the regions of the U.S. that they have migrated to according to this map. Hover over - it's animated. Unfortunately, it only goes to 2002. I guess they have been reported in southern areas of Louisiana, SE Arkansas, Georgia and SE Tennessee:

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    My guess is you got stung by yellow jackets since you weren't attacked by a swarm. From Wikipedia (the article compares them to typical honey bees):

    "African bees are characterized by greater defensiveness in established hives than European honey bees. They are more likely to attack a perceived threat and, when they do so, attack relentlessly in larger numbers. Also, they have been known to pursue their threat for over a mile."

    I hope you're okay. I'm personally cool with your typical "honey" bee and have always been fascinated by those who become "apiarists" (beekeepers). Heck, if I see bees in a flower bed, I'll go watch, let them land on me if they want, crawl around...even coax them from one hand to another. I've been stung, but not when I was intentionally gaining their attention while they're just doing their "bee business."

    I've never seen killer bees though. From what I've read, they scare me....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Northeast Wi
    Posts
    172
    The mud daubers are crazy here in WI. I had a condenser behind some bushes. As a got closer the bushes came to life. All those long black bees came out of the bushes. It was crazy. Now Im not scared of much, but wasps and mud daubers turn me into a screaming little girl

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    12,305
    Mud Daubers catch spiders and imprison them inside their mud tunnels with an egg. This is so the newly hatched baby dauber in there will have something to eat until it can dig it's way out. <g>

    PHM
    -------




    Quote Originally Posted by 11crv View Post
    The mud daubers are crazy here in WI. I had a condenser behind some bushes. As a got closer the bushes came to life. All those long black bees came out of the bushes. It was crazy. Now Im not scared of much, but wasps and mud daubers turn me into a screaming little girl
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    McQueeney, Texas
    Posts
    3,830
    Didn't read all the replies.

    If they were killer bees, you wouldn't be around to tell about it. They ALL attack and they don't quit and will follow you to the ends of the Earth.

    The attack is ferocious and all at once- thousands can descend- you can't see to where you are retreating and run blindly in any direction.

    They would probably take the can of spray away from you.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    McQueeney, Texas
    Posts
    3,830
    The common paper wasp.

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    The Hornet- these guys are mean.

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    The cute fuzzy Bumble Bee.
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    The honey bee.
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    The red wasp. Hate these- they have huge stingers.
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    African killer bee on left- Honey bee on right.

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    Aunt Bee
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