Ouch, It Stung Me…
I’m bringing home a baby bumble bee, won’t my mamma be so proud of me…
It’s near impossible for me to keep that children’s song from popping into my head when I’m writing about bees and wasps. It seems like the topic of these stinging creatures just keeps coming into conversations and during one such conversation Marilyn said, "That sounds like a topic for your Blog Sue!" So, in honor of Marilyn, I will not only talk about stinging creatures but I will also dedicate this Blog entry to her brother who is a faithful reader of my writings.
There are many different kinds of wasps and bees and they live all over the world. Males do not have stingers and the only time females will sting a person is when they are defending themselves or their home. Only Honey bees die once they have stung someone because their stinger is attached to their abdomen. When the bee attempts to fly away the stinger remains stuck in the person’s skin and then the bee’s digestive system is ripped out. When a bee or wasp stings a person they inject a protein venom that can cause pain, other reactions, and even death to those who are hyper-allergic to their stings.
The reason wasps have been a topic of conversation is because it seems like their numbers are higher than normal this year. I tend to believe a theory I came up with and haven’t been able to substantiate via the internet. If someone has data regarding this then I would appreciate learning more about it, but until then, here’s the wasp population rise according to Sue.
I think there are a higher number of wasps this year due to the lack of significant rainfall. Wasps like to nest in the ground, often times using the holes of other small animals to make their nest in. During a dry summer any nest will survive even if it is constructed poorly. I have read that a well-constructed nest can resist moisture, but I believe most ground nests would not do well with large amounts of rainfall. Since we haven’t received much rain this summer the wasps who have made their homes in the ground are thriving. That is my theory.
Another reason we may notice more wasps in the late summer is because most all of our other annoying insects are gone for the year. Mosquitos, black flies, and biting flies are almost non-existent now while wasps become more apparent because they no longer need to feed the larvae. They will tend to wander in search of sweet, sugary substances and will often find these things where there have been people. Amusement parks and anywhere there are garbages with sweet smelling items in them will attract wasps. Sugary drinks and snacks lure wasps directly to humans and this is when the stinging can occur.
I do not know if there are more wasps and bees this year or not. But as usual, after writing my blog entry I know more about bees and wasps now than I did yesterday!