1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

something to think about when dropping a tree....

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by ScotO, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    gmule, chazcarr, zap and 1 other person like this.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    If one works in the woods for any length of time, sooner or later it happens. I've had it happen but never had a problem with falling trees. Maybe got stung 2 or 3 times. Worse is those buggers who nest in the ground! Best way to get rid of those is hot boiling water....after dark.

    Worst I ever had was one time bulldozing stumps. Was almost done with the job too but that last stump was loaded with yellow jackets. No, you can not outrun them. Best thing to do is remove your shirt (sounds scary huh?) and then swing it round and around your head. They will leave but you'll get stung plenty of times before you get them off you. Also, it always seemed to me that August was the worst month for this. Never figured out why.
    smokinj and BobUrban like this.
  3. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    We cut a big locust tree at a job a couple summers ago. It was an early morning and a thunderstorm moved in as my buddy was up in the tree topping it. We didn't quit (should have, but were already halfway into the job). He dropped that top and when the butt of it hit the ground, I noticed a cloud of something around it on the ground. Stupidly, in the pouring rain, I walked over to it to get a close-up view.....BIG MISTAKE! It was a HUGE nest of ground wasps (yellow jackets). I ran through the yard, ripping my shirt off and doing as you described, but was stung around 10-15 times. My buddy almost jumped right out of that tree. He was stung around 15 - 20 times also. We stayed in the truck for almost a half hour til the bees calmed down. Got three cans of spray at the local Lowe's, and went back to the jobsite to kill off the bees. What a miserable day that was......soaked to the bone and bee stings all over my head and torso!!
    zap, BobUrban and Backwoods Savage like this.
  4. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    I can feel your pain Scott. It's been several years since I've had that happen and is also one of the reasons we cut in the winter. The last time it happened, I had several of those suckers in one of my ears. Dang that hurt.
    ScotO likes this.
  5. Foragefarmer

    Foragefarmer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Messages:
    247
    Loc:
    Central, Virginia
    Yellow jackets are the worst since they bite and sting at the same time. I had my worst encounter weedeating a fence line. I had weedeated that line all summer long and nothing had happened then 6-8 are on me all at once. It was a hot summer day but I got cold and clammy and had the shakes for an hour after they got me.
  6. Seanm

    Seanm Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Messages:
    372
    Loc:
    SE BC Canadian Rockies
    We were camping one year and my husky started going nuts after playing in the bushes, we couldnt find anything wrong with her but I took her to the lake and got her in the water but that didnt help. We went back to the camp site and started going through her thick fur and saw a couple yellow jackets with their butts in the air just going to town on her. It took me an hour going through her fur but pulled 8 or 10 from her. To this day she will play with them but all the while with a nervous whine while smacking them with her paw. This last summer she was playing with one on the living room floor and we thought it was dead but a couple hours later my wife stepped on it! Ouch. I hate those buggers!
  7. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    3,606
    Loc:
    SE MI
    Wish I was there. In the truck ;lol

    We dropped a couple of 4' red oaks a few years ago. One was full of honey bees, but it was January and temp was in the teens. They flew around for a few seconds and died. When my friend was making the back cut on the other one, we stopped him when we saw blood in the snow. After checking himself, he continued until a raccoon came out of a hole up the trunk and gimped off.
    Backwoods Savage and ScotO like this.
  8. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,169
    Loc:
    northwest Virginia
    I think August is when they build their nests in the ground. I usually find some underground nests on my property once a year, and it always seems to be in August or early September - almost never before.

    And I always try to look around in the summer before I start my mower or chainsaw - having been stung way too many times. Haven't been stung in a few years - so my time is probably coming again soon!
    Backwoods Savage and ScotO like this.
  9. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,065
    Loc:
    Richmond, VA
    You may want to talk to your doctor about that. It sounds as though you may be allergic. If you are, the next time could send you into anaphalactic shock (the second time is always worse). He can prescribe some epinephrine to keep on hand, to inject if you go into shock.
    Shane N, Senatormofo, jeff_t and 3 others like this.
  10. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,383
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    The bees in the video looked like honeybees. They will leave a hive with a new queen if they overpopulate. Their favorite swarm sites are trees. Honeybees are being crossed with disease resistant strains that are less friendly. Females stay in the hives and overwinter. Males leave the hives and die. The wild bees have an annual life cycle. Late August is their most aggressive period. I was attacked by bald faced hornets late last August. I looked them up and read they fiercely protect their hives at this time. I dont remember what part of the life cycle they are in. But supposedly they leave the hive and try to overwinter in hidden spots.
    Hives are abandoned for winter. Honeybees remain in location.
    I would have died last year had I been on foot. I was on a huge tractor and I believe the heat and noise of the tractor confused the bees. They had a paper nest in a bush along a fencerow. I must have bumped it with the bushhog trying to get close.
  11. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2010
    Messages:
    1,586
    Loc:
    Central Michigan
    Damn bulldozers are slow aren't they Dennis :)
    Backwoods Savage and ScotO like this.
  12. Bspring

    Bspring Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    298
    Loc:
    Greenville, SC
    Wow, you are the first person that I have heard of being attacked by Bald faced hornets. They are actually wasp and know to be very aggressive but I have just never know of anyone that it happened to. Yellow Jackets get most of us. As a kid I enjoyed throwing rocks at the hornet's nest. I still do it every once in a while but have never been stung by them. How many times did they get you and how does it compare to a yellow jacket sting?
  13. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,397
    Loc:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Man, I didn't need to see that. I need to go hug my dog...
    keninmich, BobUrban and ScotO like this.
  14. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,920
    Loc:
    southern ontario
    The hornets got me two years ago. Had some large rounds loosely tossed so lots of air got at them for a few weeks before I got around to splitting. Was lifting the rounds into the wheelbarrow and moving them to the rock I split on, when I thought, all in a split second, "That hurts. Sting! Run!" Ran inside, took aspirin, applied ice and a&H toothpaste (works a bit). Got three stings right together in a blood vessel on the right side of my hand. Hurt like hell. Got very swollen. Darn things had started building a nest hanging from the bottom of the round. I knocked the nest partially off when I picked up the round. I ALWAYS wear gloves handling wood. ONLY time I haven't. Thought about going and getting them, but had decided to take a bunch of rounds over in the wheelbarrow and get the gloves when there, to save a trip. Never again. Fortunately, an early nest...only about 50 that I counted, if I remember correctly. ...plus pupa...two loads of boiling water. They swarmed around the nest, got some with the first water; more that had left came back and were swarming around the remnants of the nest, so got as many as I could and the nest again. That did them in. They are vicious. The stings are very painful. Usually see these nests hanging from tree branches, or under overhang of roof.

    Bee (Ha!) aware: they may be on the bottom of your rounds!

    There is some ant in South America that is supposed to have the only sting that is more painful.
  15. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,920
    Loc:
    southern ontario
    My Dad told me of finding a very large honeybee hive in a tree one summer. Went back in the winter with a friend to get the honey out of the hive. Got the honey, but they got stung plenty. Bees got inside their clothes. Very funny the way he told the story, but I'm sure it wasn't fun at the time.

    He said the honey was good.:)

    That was in Ormstown, Quebec. So, the bees can still get you in the winter.
  16. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Messages:
    648
    Loc:
    Maine
    there are a lot worse insects than yellow yackets.... The bald-faced hornet (aka the white-assed hornet)... each sting is worse than getting shot with a pellet gun.... I've experienced both...
  17. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Messages:
    648
    Loc:
    Maine
    bald faced hornets attack here all the time.... I got belted 15 times last summer... weed whacking around the base of a false orange bush... That hive didn't make it through the night... lol...
    Senatormofo likes this.
  18. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Messages:
    648
    Loc:
    Maine
    this is yet another wonderful reason (if you live in the north) to cut in the winter...... stinging insects can't even move... let alone fly...
  19. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2010
    Messages:
    1,586
    Loc:
    Central Michigan
    Agreed!! I chose not to watch it after I read the caption while the video loaded. I am a softy when it comes to dogs
  20. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    Messages:
    1,195
    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    What really amazes me is that you were using AOL! Thought they were bout dead by now.
  21. Whitepine2

    Whitepine2 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2011
    Messages:
    138
    Loc:
    Southern Ma
    Every summer there are nest's in all the iron piles and usually find a nest or two when bushogging.I like to run them over with the bushog and stop over the nest this usually takes care of the paper nests. When around the shop or steel piles use break cleaner cheaper than bee&wasp sprays it will freeze frame them,dead before they hit the ground if you hit them they are dead used it for years usually buy when on sale get several can's to have on hand.

    TRY IT YOU WILL LIKE IT Whitepine2
  22. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,005
    Loc:
    West Friendship, Maryland
    Here are the wasps that got me last year. 3 stings and one was still biting my ankle after I got inside. Stung on the left hand, left shoulder, and left ankle. That was July, Thursday the 12th. I was just getting home from Court after losing an $80,000 case. Got home from Court and noticed a dead branch in the azalea bush so I decided to crack it off. Knew I was in trouble when I heard the buzzing sound. Cannot remember the last time I ran that fast.

    The next day, Friday the 13th, UPS dropped off my A-coil and it was the wrong size. Then, my dog ran off and the neighbor two doors up called animal control. Ran over another neighbor's mailbox looking for the dog because I was late for a client meeting. Was 30 minutes late meeting with the client. The meeting did not go well, then spent 3 hours in traffic getting home.

    Spent Saturday putting everything back in place. Got rid of the wasp nest. Got the dog from the pound and gave them a piece of my mind regarding his condition. Then worked on the chimney to the furnace. Much better day.

    Those wasps were worse than any yellow jacket sting I ever received. Just happy the kids weren't out there with me or that they were not playing in those bushes that were right next to the cars. Going to cut those bushes out after tax season. and plant grass.

    Attached Files:

    Paulywalnut and Applesister like this.
  23. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,137
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    Dennis, that is because in August you were sweating up a storm, your B.O. was ticking them off. ::P ;lol
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  24. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,383
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    Wow..
    I cant believe you actually got a picture of those things!! I felt sick when I tapped on your photo. Thats what came after me. I was out of my mind with fear. I was attacked earlier in the week had killed the hornets and had identified them. The articles on the internet said to leave the hives if they are not close to populated areas. Screw that.
    I feel bad about the dog. Ive never really heard of honeybees being that aggressive but I know they cross with the African bees. I have honeybees here. I used to have 70 hives but Im down.
    They DO migrate to trees. They overwinter and stay very alive.
    But it is a good reason to be wary and really look over what you are cutting.
    I just saw a video on youtube on another tree care forum of a guy cutting down a huge cottonwood. The tree was loaded with wasps of some sort.
  25. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Messages:
    648
    Loc:
    Maine

    those would be bald-faced aka white assed hornets. they suck.

Share This Page