Playing With Yellow Jacket Wasps Bees – Petting A Wasp & Dispelling The FEAR of Getting Stung
I watch people panic and fight bees and wasps in outdoor activities; killing them and just shake my head. Bees and wasps can sting but generally won’t unless you disturb them or threaten their nests, young, or them individually. When collecting resources or food, bees and wasps are mostly defensive in nature and won’t go out of their way to attack you. I show this passive behavior with some Yellow Jacket wasps in my yard; collecting the fruit from a decaying apple.
I pick them up, let them crawl on me, touch them, pet them, and disturb them without incident. Many of these wasps you see are probably from different hives and they get along fine. They don’t sting me and just want to get away; more afraid of me than I am of them.
Wasps stingers don’t have barbs on the ends like a honey bee does so they can retract their stinger and sting over and over again. BUT that costs energy and to survive as a wild wasp, they conserve their sting poison for when they REALLY need it, like when things threaten their nests or harm them.
You are FAR more likely to get stung when you smack a bee and make it mad. The reason is the stinger response will poke the barb into your skin. If a wasp or bee lands on you, try Blowing It Off rather than smacking it. It is less likely to sting you.
So next time you are at the café and one of these wasps or bees flies by or lands on you, try not to be violent with it and just shoo it away. You will both be better off.
“Petting The World— One Animal At A Time” Dolph C. Volker
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