This is about power. This is about persistence. Tenacity describes our topic. Doggedness works too. This is about power in an insect. A persistent, tenacious, single-minded insect. It is an insect with a bite you will not forget. We fear spiders. This insect can bite repeatedly. The life goal of this insect is to reproduce more of its kind. In recent days, my personal experience with this insect allows me to speak with authority. This is one strong, never give up, never go away insect. Meet the Yellow Jacket.
Yellow Jackets do not have favorable memories for me. They have given me numerous painful bites. Most were my fault. Lately, a large number of them have made a nest in a very unfavorable location-in our hollow cement front step. Imagine, hundreds of highly aggressive insects living where guests to our home stand before being welcomed into our home. Painful bites are a very real possibility. This is not a great way to welcome our guests.
It has been necessary to remove them. To do so the nest must be destroyed. You may be shocked to read that my recent activities have included killing wildlife. But this is essential. There is a chance they will actually find a way into our house. Therefore, the skirmish with Yellow Jackets has been joined. My weapon of choice is Dawn dish soap. It removes the yellow jackets but is not as toxic to the environment.
While I have fought them on a daily basis in an attempt to eliminate them, these black and yellow striped one-half inch armored insect tanks have held their own. The Yellow Jacket or Vespula vulgaris is a social insect. The yellow jacket queen is larger than her progeny. By fall, a colony of yellow jackets may be as large as 2,000 to 4,000 winged and infertile females who do the job of nest-building (inside our front steps!). These female workers also bring food to the nest. Yellow Jackets are omnivorous, primarily eating other insects. However, they quickly find sugar filled sources of food. Flowers, fruits, and even soft drinks they can find outside become yellow jacket attractors.
Since they are highly aggressive in protecting their nest, we are familiar with their throbbing, painful sting. Bad news, since their stingers are smooth-they can sting repeatedly. In the state of Colorado, 90% of alleged “bee stings” were caused by the yellow jacket.
Before we completely vilify the yellow jacket, know this: Yellow Jacket wasps are beneficial. They consume vast quantities of insects that are harmful to gardens, flowers even crops. They are carrion eaters as well, a part of “nature’s clean-up crew”.
There is another amazing thing about yellow jackets-they manufacture their own nest material by chewing wood fibers to create a gray, weather proof paper like material that protects the eggs and larva of the nest. Some nests can become very large. One nest is reported to have filled the inside of an abandoned car.
Power has been a subject we have thought about as we began this discusssion. How can such tenacity, such power be found in a tiny 6-legged insect? They have chewed through weatherizing caulk. They have pushed their way through the steel wool I have used to block their path to the nest. They do not give up. Get stung by one and you feel power in a memorable way!
I will answer my own question. Yellow Jacket power comes from God. In Romans 1:20 we read these words of Paul, For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. What does the eternal power of God look like? Is it even possible to grasp the power of God? Look at the little yellow jacket.
*Great news, the write/photographer was never stung when taking these photos!