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10-foot-long yellow jacket nest removed from South Carolina camper


10-foot-long yellow jacket nest removed from South Carolina camper

Old 11-07-2014, 06:28 AM
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Default 10-foot-long yellow jacket nest removed from South Carolina camper

Robert McDougal didn't dare to move as the swarms of yellow jackets kept coming. The wasps spewed from a monstrous nest hidden in the folded camper he had just hoisted in the air with a forklift. "I sat in the chair with my arms like this (crossed) for about 20 minutes. I was scared," he said.
He ought to have been, but somehow he didn't get stung.
The nest cleared Tuesday was maybe the largest to be cleared in South Carolina and one of the largest in the region. The pulp of it, an estimated 10 feet by 7 feet, 2 feet high, was enough to stuff the interior of an old Volkswagen Beetle.
Eric "Critter" McCool, of McCool Wildlife Services, had to crawl into the tunnel-like confines of the camper to get it out.
"I was virtually inside the nest," he said. "It was very hot, stuffy. It was like crawling through a bunch of cushions, and you could feel them buzzing against the bee suit."
McDougal, a lifelong Moncks Corner residents and owner of Hurry Up Towing, had no idea there was a nest in the fold-down camper left in the back of his storage yard in the Cane Bay community. He has been around bees all his life, but he had never seen anything like it before. "I told (McCool) he was crazy."
The yellow jacket is the "lightweight" bee, casually brushed away by people who would be more circumspect around a honey bee, wasp or hornet. But yellow jackets are a type of wasp. They do sting, are capable of multiple stings and like other swarming insects, are adept at "social" hunting. The venom packs a punch.
The nests occasionally grow to legendary size, especially in the Southeast. A trash can-sized nest found in Charleston County in the 1990s was estimated to have 250,000 worker bees. McCool estimated that McDougal's had 350,000 or more.
"Wow. Oh, my. That is mind boggling," said Laurie Reid, S.C. Forestry Commission entomologist, when she saw of a photo of the nest. She spends her life outdoors and had never seen a yellow jacket nest anywhere near as large.
McCool removed 37 queens. By hand. Yep, he didn't use pesticides. He didn't take advice of a number of colleagues in the bee extraction business to simply burn the thing out.
"Bee vacuum and grabbing bags," he said, literally tearing loose pieces of the comb and stuffing them into trash bags. "Quite an adrenalin rush." He was stung a half-dozen times, but in a two-decade career extracting hives and nests, he figures he's been stung more than 6,000 times. So, no biggie.
Asked how large this nest was compared to other yellow jacket monsters he's dealt with, and McCool just laughs.
"Massive," he said.
McDougal shakes his head. "And it had to be here."
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UT_VOLS13 is offline  
Old 11-07-2014, 07:05 AM
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Holy crap.

Yellow Jackets are some nasty buggers when they turn aggressive.
crboggs is offline  
Old 11-07-2014, 07:22 AM
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Should've pour gasoline on the camper and lit a match.
Trollin4Tuna is offline  
Old 11-07-2014, 07:30 AM
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Think I would have called my shrink-wrap guy. Bag the whole camper and inject it w/Raid.
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Old 11-07-2014, 08:08 AM
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I've had them follow me running across the yard and into the garage. Got hit twice more in the garage.
Had to toss the shirt before hiding in the house.

Hit 6 times total.

Went back the next day. Found the nest under a 2x6 along the fence. Was the size of a softball.

Mean SOB's.
friogatto is offline  

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