Setting the Record Straight on Yellow Jackets
First of all the rightfully feared Yellow Jackets are not bees, rather they are a type of wasp that look like bees due to their obvious yellow color. Secondly unlike bees, the Yellow Jacket is a social insect in that they form colonies that often burrow underground. And these aggressive creatures are capable of stinging multiple times without losing their stinger.
Most people who claim to have been stung by bees in the summer months may have been more likely stung by yellow jackets due to the aggressiveness that they show much like their cousins the hornets. During the spring and summer Yellow Jackets behave like carnivores, eating other insects for protein to build the strength necessary to carry themselves through the summer months. And when the summer months arrive these bugs go from being carnivores to scavengers. This is why they are often found feeding near dumpsters and garbage cans.
This method of feeding brings them closer to human populations and naturally stings become much more common during these months. The Yellow Jacket also does not like to be disturbed. Since these bugs from colonies they will often show hostility towards anything that they perceive as a threat to their home and community. So to avoid these guys avoid perfumes as these bugs may find the odor offensive and will then sting you for it. And don’t leave food out and about because they will go for it even if the food is in your home. This is one bug that is not as afraid of you as you are of it.
Have you ever encountered a yellow jacket? Were you stung? What did you do?