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Nature & Environment

Nest of 400,000 wasps found in camper van

By T.K. Randall
November 10, 2014 · Comment icon 33 comments

The wasps had taken over the whole vehicle. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.5 Richard Bartz
Measuring 10ft across, the huge nest was discovered in California by Robert McDougal.
The Berkeley resident had been lifting the van with a forklift when swarms of aggressive yellow jackets started to stream out of the bottom of it. Paralyzed with fear, McDougal stayed motionless for over twenty minutes before attempting to flee.

When pest controller Eric McCool arrived on the scene he was astounded by the sheer scale of the infestation. A large percentage of the van's interior had been taken over by the wasps which were thought to number in the hundreds of thousands.
Unable to tackle the problem with pesticides, McCool opted to physically crawl inside the vehicle while wearing a beekeeper suit and attempt to remove the insects with a vacuum.

"I was virtually inside the nest," he said. "It was very hot, stuffy. It was like crawling through a bunch of cushions, and you could feel them buzzing against the bee suit."

McCool eventually ended up removing a total of 37 queens from the nest by hand.

Source: Tech Times | Comments (33)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #24 Posted by Raincoathermit 10 years ago
This seems to be happening a lot lately, the whole finding giant hives thing.
Comment icon #25 Posted by Myles 10 years ago
Considering that they spent sometime to removed them, I would like to believe they were relocated. I hope they were destroyed.
Comment icon #26 Posted by Ryu 10 years ago
I am not sure but was it one huge hive or many because I thought there was only one queen to a hive.
Comment icon #27 Posted by GrimmOne 10 years ago
I am not sure but was it one huge hive or many because I thought there was only one queen to a hive. Yeah same here
Comment icon #28 Posted by WikidlyInept 10 years ago
If the nest is rather large I've heard of more than one queen living within.
Comment icon #29 Posted by regeneratia 10 years ago
How did they count them?
Comment icon #30 Posted by Ryu 10 years ago
How did they count them? Umm..very carefully I wager.
Comment icon #31 Posted by seeder 10 years ago
How did they count them? They got them all to line up in single file, before they could exit the bus, and just did a headcount as they left. Same as you do with kids on a bus
Comment icon #32 Posted by danibear 10 years ago
They got them all to line up in single file, before they could exit the bus, and just did a headcount as they left. Same as you do with kids on a bus However they counted them, i wouldn't want to be the one that did it! 37 queens is an unreal amount in one nest.
Comment icon #33 Posted by the.truth.is.out.there.x 10 years ago
Well, time to burn the camper down...


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