A buddy of mine wants to start keeping bees, so at the first of the year he bought a deep hive kit, painted it, and set it in his barn for several months while he waited to get some bees. He called me today and said that feral bees had swarmed into the hive body and the frames weren’t even in it. I agreed to come help him get into it, clean up the mess of comb in the deep body, and he could have them as his first hive.
As I approached the hive, I didn’t see a lot of activity, but that didn’t raise suspicion as it was late in the day - 715 or so. I opened up the deep hive body and it turned out the frames were in it...but no bees. Confused, I moved the hive body out of the way, and a few random feed sacks that were underneath it, and that’s when I started seeing “bees” coming out of the ground. It took me a little bit longer than it should have to figure out what was happening. Fairly quickly the heat started at my waist and feet, then moved up to my back and my shins. Ended up with 12 or 13 stings. Unlike bee stings, the pain didnt seem to subside quickly. It’s been several hours and still feeling a burn. No visible reaction, not even swelling, just burning.
After we both ran a good ways, we started hitting the YJ’s off one another. We were slapping each other silly. The best part, other than learning a good lesson, is that I got most of it on video.
I still think its crazy that a colony of yellow jackets moved into the ground directly beneath a bee hive box...