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Yellow Jackets Get Cranky Defending The Queen

DETROIT (WWJ) - What's the buzz on all the bees?

What appears to be bees everywhere, is actually yellow jackets, a type of wasp.

Michigan State University Entomologist Howard Russell says this is the time of year where they're out in full force -- and they're especially irritable and aggressive because they're raising next year's queen.

He says if you have an allergy to them, be very careful.

"If you are allergic to honey bee venom there's a good chance you are going to have a bad reaction wasp venom or yellow jackets venom too. People like that should - especially this time of year -- should have their epi-pens nearby and ready to go," said Russell.

"Our yellow jackets are annual in that they build this nest that lasts one year and the following year the colony starts to decline - this is also the time of year when they are raising next year's queen so they tend to be really irritable, non-tolerant, and aggressive toward anybody that ventures too close to their nest."

Russell says the yellow jackets will be especially aggressive if you're near their nest, or if you have certain types of food such as sweets and meat.

On the positive front ... as the weather gets colder the fewer we'll see.

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