Enormous yellow-jacket wasp hive gets removed from camper


Eric McCool, owner of McCool's Wildlife Control & Bee Extractions, took a mesmerizing video of what he said might be the largest wasps' nest in the entire country.

Robert McDougal, a resident of Berkeley, California, discovered the wasps' nest in a pop-up camper on his land after he lifted the camper with a forklift. Wasps came streaming out of the camper. McDougal said that for about 20 minutes after that, he was unable to move, terrified of the wasps.

You can watch the video that McCool took of the massive nest online here.

At first, McDougal thought that the insects were bees. Wasps can be very similar in appearance to bees, especially from a distance, but wasps are generally more aggressive than bees and can sting more than once, which makes a wasp attack somewhat more dangerous than a bee attack.

However, once McCool entered the camper, he realized that they were wasps - and there were a lot of them. McCool estimated that there were over 400,000 wasps in the camper. The wasps' nest had consumed much of the 70-foot camper by the time he got on the scene.

"The possibility of killing this nest with pesticides was virtually impossible -- it was too big," said McCool.
The wasps' nest contained 37 queens, which McCool had to remove by hand - wearing a protective suit, of course.

McCool went inside the nest to remove it, entering the camper and tearing through the nest while vacuuming up the wasps. Some other pest control experts suggested that he should just burn the nest, but he wanted to do it the old-fashioned way.

"I was virtually inside the nest. It was very hot, stuffy. It was like crawling through a bunch of cushions, and you could feel them buzzing against the bee suit," McCool said.

The wasps that McCool vacuumed up will be released elsewhere, but he said that they would likely die off shortly without a nest or a queen wasp.

This nest rivals another nest found earlier this year in August, when a woman in England found that 5,000 wasps had made a home for themselves in an unused guest room in her house.

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