You’ve never seen yellowjackets like this

No matter how many yellowjackets you’ve dealt with this past summer, I’m sure it was nothing like this. The nest in this video was filmed in central Florida where southern yellowjackets, and many other wasp species, can overwinter.

According to Jonathan Simpkins, the entomologist/pest control guy who shot the video, this nest is six-and-a-half feet tall and eight feet wide. He says that a nest like this can contain thousands of queens that develop over the second, third, and forth year. It also contains millions of workers. Be sure to listen to the audio as the wasps butt into the camera while they are being filmed. Unreal.

As a beekeeper, the thing that bothers me here is the company name painted on the truck, All Florida Bee, and the slogan, “Bees Buzzing You?” Guaranteed, there is nothing about bees in the entire video.

We wonder why most people are so afraid of bees, but once someone sees a video like this right next to the word “bee”—well, of course they’re frightened. There is no hint that yellowjackets are not bees. So sad.

In spite of that irritation, the nest is awesome and Jonathan Simpkins is, like many entomologists, entertaining.

Many thanks to Linda Zielinski of the Linn Benton Beekeepers Association (Oregon) for sending me the link.

Honey Bee Suite


  • Rusty,

    This is a nest that belongs to the Southern Yellow Jacket (YJ), a different variety to the few YJ we deal with up here in the northern regions.

  • Thanks for sharing the video. Almost a little sad to see such a natural wonder eliminated, presumably rather harshly. We had an in-ground nest of the northern variety this year, right in the middle of our backyard. I got rid of it as well, to preserve the people as well as my bees. Not every creature easily co-exists with us humans, I suppose.

    To their credit, the company’s web site has a notice on bee swarms, and the discussion shows the removal of a swarm from a house and installation into a hive. So nice to see he is preserving the bees.

    Thanks again!

  • Rusty,
    A small, but maybe significant part of the problem: “Bee” costumes on toddlers, (even on adults – or dachshunds), cartoon bees, cuddly stuffed bees, and trinkets such as key fobs, where the alleged bee is inevitably depicted in black and yellow!
    No wonder people confuse them with yellowjackets. It’s to the point where people seeing a fuzzy brown and gold honey bee ask, “What’s that? It is? It doesn’t look like a bee!” (meaning it’s not black and yellow.)
    So, a minor campaign, along with correct terminology, for correct color portrayal?
    Corinth, Northern Kentucky

  • I understand this was a hazard but it saddens me. Also one can just see honeycomb pictured on the back of his truck, verging on irresponsible.

  • Wow! Amazing video! I’ve never seen a neat that size before. Up here in the colder part of things I’ve seen 3 this year up between 10-16 feet in the trees. Being in size about 24 inches in height and 12-18 inches in diameter.

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