Bumblebees usually leave you alone. They’re mostly interested in flowers. But if you disturb a nest of these stinging insects, or get too close to a nest sometimes, they attack you with some mighty painful stings.
They’re strange looking creatures aren’t they? By the laws of aerodynamics the design of their bodies shouldn’t even let them fly. But we see them buzzing around our flower gardens all summer long.
In fact it seems like you see them everywhere as the warm season moves toward fall.
One day I was out for a ride, and really enjoying the sunshine. I unzipped my jacket about halfway, and lay back comfortably on my bike, just cruising along. When all of a sudden something hit me in the side.
I thought I was shot.
I pulled quickly to the side of the road, yanked off my jacket, and lifted my shirt tail to have a look. What I saw I recognized right away. It was a big round, white welt with a little red dot right in the center. I’ve seen those things before.
It was a bumblebee sting, and it hurt like crazy. Guess that little critter got swept into my jacket with the airflow, and decided to zap me before the breeze forced it on out the bottom of the jacket, and back into the open air.
Ever had one of those stings? That one made me sit right up on that bike seat.
Bumblebees mind their own business most of the time. They’re just out collecting nectar from the flowers to take home, and feed their babies. And if you leave them alone, they’ll probably leave you alone.
They build their nests in some places where you don’t think about running across them though.
One day as I mowed the yard I felt a little bite as I passed by a brush pile. I was putting off cleaning that brush pile up. Sometimes I’m a little lazy like that. I didn’t pay that bite much attention as I figured it was just a mosquito. The pain from the bite was more than a mosquito really causes, but so light that I didn’t connect it to anything else at the time.
On the next pass I felt another bite. This time I looked down, and found a small welt on my leg, but didn’t spot the cause. A third pass – a third bite – and this time I stopped the mower to take a closer look.
Flying around one area of the brush pile I saw baby bumblebees. No wonder the pain was light. They weren’t big enough yet to cause any real damage, or pain.
I studied the spot where the bees hovered, and discovered a nest in the brush pile.
The only safe thing for me to do then was eliminate the nest. I didn’t want my grand kids getting stung when they visited. They like to play Frisbee with my black lab, and I knew they’d be running around that pile of brush. If those bees stung me just for walking by I saw no way they wouldn’t go after a running kid.
So I cleaned the nest out of that brush, and got rid of those bees.
If you end up with a nest of bumblebees close to where you walk, or even lounge, your best bet is just get rid of them and their nest. When those rascals sting you they hurt, and the pain of the sting hangs around for a while too.