Summer yellowjackets

If summer hasn’t already arrived, it will soon.

One of the true joys of summer, unless you abstain from meat, is the barbecue.  Setting in the shade watching the kids run through the sprinkler is a great way to spend an afternoon.  At least until the neighbors drop by uninvited.

Now I’m not talking about the friendly ones in the house next door.  I’m taking about the grumpy aggressive wasps that fly over the fence and want to fight you for possession of your chicken wing or soda.

Most of us have survived a bee or wasp sting at least once in our lives but allergic reactions kill about 100 people in America each year and send many more to the emergency room. The problem is that even if you have survived a sting in the past there is no way to know if you have developed an allergy as a result.

Here in western Washington there are several species of wasp. They are all after the same things, protein for the developing young back in the nest and nectar (sugar) for the high octane fuel to fly.

So, that rib slathered in barbecue sauce is worth fighting for.  Since the average soda has about 9 teaspoons of sugar in it, that’s fair game too. Continue reading