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Getting To Know Those Flying Stingers

By Sharon
September 27, 2013

Uninvited, they join us at picnics. They race for the first bite of our apples. They pounce from beneath the blades of the lawnmower and crawl up the legs of our pants. Even our noses are at risk when we sniff our flowers. "What stung you?" she asked years ago. "I don't know, Ninna, but it had wings and a stinger!"

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Name: Judith Schafer
Bryan, Texas
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judithschafer18
Sep 28, 2013 7:50 AM CST
The National Garden Clubs teamed with Crown Bee Co. are promoting mason bees in the garden. They polinate our plants but are not agressive like honey bees and wasps. We are putting up mason bee houses in our gardens. My husband has build 2 types - the wooden block and the tube type, both from recycled materials. The mason bee uses already made holes while carpendar bees make holes.These bees are native where as the honey bee is an imported bee. Sarah McReynolds, president of Texas Garden Clubs recently passed out information and had a display at Landscape Design School in College Station. She will also promote mason bees in Texas Garden Clubs fall convention in Houston. In our area we have the red horn face mason bee - sting is more like a mosquito bite.
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Sep 28, 2013 9:57 AM CST
Thanks for this information, Judith.

Now I need to learn more about Mason bees.
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Name: Neil
London\Kent Border
Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member Region: United Kingdom
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NEILMUIR1
Sep 28, 2013 4:06 PM CST
Great article Sharon. Simply wasps are a nightmare to me.
Tis the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, and that means dozy wasps.
Phoenix has a large lump in her throat, does not bear well.
Shaken not stirred.
Regards.
Neil.

Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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Sharon
Sep 28, 2013 4:14 PM CST
Thanks Neil.
I sure hope Phoenix is suffering from something only minor, maybe in her wanderings she encountered a wasp.

Wishing her and you well!
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Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
Sep 28, 2013 4:20 PM CST
I'm wondering...do any bees take pieces of plant leaves? Not sure what it was, but something flying and beeish looking took off with pieces of my 4 o'clock leaves.
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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Sharon
Sep 28, 2013 4:35 PM CST
There are leafcutter bees and they don't eat leaves but they take pieces to form nests, I think. Not sure about that.

Here's something I found, might answer your question better than I can:

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/insect/05576.html
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Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Salvias Herbs Bluebonnets Native Plants and Wildflowers Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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LindaTX8
Sep 28, 2013 4:42 PM CST
Well, that does look like what I saw! Thanks, Sharon, that was interesting! I don't mind them taking the pieces of leaves, because the 4 o'clocks are really getting to be a bit too much and I have started cutting them back a little!.
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad

tantefrancine
Sep 28, 2013 4:48 PM CST
Hi Sharon. As always, your articles are excellent. I saw a yellow jacket in my friend's cottage in Maine, and I wanted to take it out. Stupid me, I took a Kleenex and grab it, and ungratefully it stung me through the Kleenex before I managed to let it go outside. I put vinegar on the sting. The pain disappeared instantly. I was lucky that another friend of mine told me about that. Did your grandmother have other medications for stings of other insects? I think I was stung by a bumblebee recently and I do not know what to do, but just put vinegar on it. It also went away after 3 days.
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Ferns Daylilies Irises Cat Lover
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Sharon
Sep 28, 2013 5:46 PM CST
Good, glad that helped you, Linda. At this point in the season, I doubt it hurt the 4 o'clocks a bit. Everything in my garden is looking pretty dreary and crumpled anyway.

And @tantefrancine !! Thank you.
Sorry about the yellowjacket. They really are quick to anger and I'll bet it was looking for a place to nest, or maybe it already had a nest in the cabin and was afraid you'd find it. Vinegar is a good tried and true old remedy for stings, so is dampened baking soda and so is a slice of onion taped over the site.

I can't tell you how many times I ran around those mountains with a slice of onion taped to one place or another. Whatever works. These days people say to sprinkle meat tenderizer on a sting and I suppose that would work as well as a tea bag, I don't know. Mostly I just use baking soda since it's usually the first thing I come to in the kitchen. Chinese remedies say to tape a clean copper penny over the sting; I've never tried that because if I get a sting I want something right now and don' t have time to sterilize a copper penny even if I had one handy. So for me it's baking soda or a slice of onion, whichever I can get to first.

'Tis the season for sure, and as much as we have to do outside right now, I'm thinking the flying stingers are even busier out there than we are. Smiling
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tantefrancine
Sep 29, 2013 12:18 AM CST
Hi Sharon. As always, your articles are excellent. I saw a yellow jacket in my friend's cottage in Maine, and I wanted to take it out. Stupid me, I took a Kleenex and grab it, and ungratefully it stung me through the Kleenex before I managed to let it go outside. I put vinegar on the sting. The pain disappeared instantly. I was lucky that another friend of mine told me about that. Did your grandmother have other medications for stings of other insects? I think I was stung by a bumblebee recently and I do not know what to do, but just put vinegar on it. It also went away after 3 days.

tantefrancine
Dec 7, 2013 4:26 AM CST
Kind of late: Sharon, thank you for the additional info.
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Ferns Daylilies Irises Cat Lover
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Sharon
Dec 8, 2013 11:16 AM CST
@tantefrancine
I'm the one who is late with an answer, I must have gotten distracted with fall cleanup. Sorry! But the other 'cure' for a sting that I remember was a wet tea bag over the spot and in some cases later I've used meat tenderizer sprinkled on wet skin. Can't remember if I mentioned that earlier.

More recently I often use a slice of aloe, my houseplant that I keep in my kitchen. And that's about it for me. Whatever works at the moment. I think vinegar is about as good as anything else.

Happy Holidays! At the moment I'm caught in the middle of an ice/snow storm. It's going to be awhile before I can dig my way out, it seems. At least I can safely say there are no flying stingers out to bother me right now. Smiling
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