Yellow jackets nests skyrocket over summer months

Yellow jackets nests skyrocket over summer months
A yellow jacket nest in a resident's home. (Source: WALB)
A yellow jacket nest in a resident's home. (Source: WALB)
(Source: Dale Richter)
(Source: Dale Richter)
Dale Richter (Source: WALB)
Dale Richter (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A warning for South Georgians about the dangers of yellow jacket nests.

The warm winter we saw last year coupled with recent wet weather is the cause for the skyrocketing increase in yellow jacket nests across the region.

This year, the colonies are even larger and more aggressive than ever.

Residents are terrified when they hear buzzing noises but these aren't bees swarming around Albany but thousands of yellow jackets.

"One case a boat owner went into his boat and yellow jackets had taken over his boat," Master Beekeeper Dale Richter remarked.

This summer Richter has been busy as a bee removing yellow jacket nests.

He said his glove was attacked by them while he was removing a nest from a resident's home.

So far, he's removed 30 to 40 nests in the past few months.

The ground was once their home, but Richter said they're now flying into houses and apartments.

A resident who lives off West Oglethorpe Boulevard said he helped a man in a wheelchair that was swarmed by them.

Luckily, he didn't get stung by them.

But that wasn't the case for another victim.

"I had a man that spent two weeks in the hospital from yellow jacket stings," Richter explained.

But they're not deadly!

However, you should get treated if you're stung especially if you have a pre-existing health condition.

Richter warned that yellow jacket season will be much longer usually they go away around November but this year they're here until December.

He also warned residents to not disturb a yellow jacket nest, but to contact a professional to remove it.

If you're stung and show signs of swelling or have trouble breathing you should go to the emergency room.

But most cases can be treated with over-the-counter medicine.

As far as the massive nest spotted by Angler Lee Harper on the Flint River, he urged residents to stay far away from it.

Richter is waiting for instructions from state leaders on what to do with the 4 and a half feet nest.

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