The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Yellowjacket stings are the most painful

Yellow jacket burrow in the ground

As a budding beekeeper, I've learned that most stinging insects aren't so bad.  Honeybee stings stop hurting in minutes, the wasps that move into our trailer in search of ladybugs rarely sting, and bumblebees generally mind their own business.  But I have a hard spot in my heart for yellowjackets.

Last year was the worst year ever for yellowjackets --- it seemed like every time I mowed the yard, I got stung.  This year, we only seem to have one nest within our cultivated perimeter (and another along the driveway).  Since I've marked the locations and give them a wide berth, stings have been relatively minor.

I've been stung by pretty much everything out there, and I have to say that yellowjacket stings are the most painful.  All summer, I've considering finding a way to kill the colony living between my rhubarb and asparagus, but I can't wrap my mind around poison.  Turns out I've waited long enough that winter will soon do it for me.  Unlike honeybees where most of the colony survives the winter, only the queen yellowjacket overwinters, starting a new colony in the spring.  Sure is nice to be able to put off one more problem until next year....

Don't get stung by traditional waterers.  Check out Mark's homemade chicken waterer!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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