I was filling the stock tanks. Just minding my own business, moving hoses from one tank to another. I happened to look down at my glove and noticed a yellow jacket climbing inside the cuff. By the time I dropped the hose and grabbed at the bee with my right hand, the sucker tagged me on my left wrist. I flopped him down into the mud and that is where he met his sludgy demise.
This is very early in the spring to have a yellow jacket around. I had not seen or heard any flying around, yet he found me. It’s like they instinctively know that I puff up like a blowfish, and itch for a full ten days after getting stung. They have it in for me.
While the water was still filling the tank, I looked for a weed called a plantain. It has wide, spikey, grass-like leaves and later in the year sends up round stems with seeding buds at the top. Since it is early in the year, the weeds are just starting to pop up around the driveway.
I found a few leaves and crushed them with my fingers and plastered them on the sting. Once I had the stock tanks filled, I went to the house to take antihistamine capsules.
I didn’t puff up too bad this time, the poor bee was probably still groggy from his cold, wet winter. This early spring sting didn’t carry the punch that stings do later in the summer, but it is still a reminder that I need to keep a lookout for those bees.