Being stung by a wasp is not normally a big deal, but being stung by a swarm is a very different matter. It’s painful and dangerous. It seems that wasps in distress emit pheromones which stirs the others into a stinging frenzy. Unlike bees which die after stinging, wasps can keep repeating their actions. Flailing your arms around is not the best reaction, apparently, but I suspect we’d all do it if under attack.
There are some wasp nests along the canal in Bude. Mayor Bob Willingham explained on his Facebook page:
Cornwall Council has been working hard to ensure all wasp nests by the canal have been removed following multiple attacks on passers-by recently.
Cornwall Council is continuing to monitor the area, but please be cautious if you are prone to reactions from stings.
Bude woman, Frances Faulkner, was one of the weekend victims. She was attacked on Sunday morning by a swarm of angry wasps on the canal path, between Truscotts Bridge and Rodds Bridge, while walking her dog, Syd. She was stung many times and described the attack as “painful and frightening, the stuff of nightmares”. She gave thanks to two runners who helped her, and to the lovely staff at Stratton Minor Injuries (yes, that’s how bad it was). Luckily, Syd was not stung but the dog of one of the runners was badly stung (we hope the dog is ok – if anyone knows, please tell us).
Frances says she won’t be doing the canal walk for a while and is contacting the Council in the hope that they will take further action to destroy the nests.
Alas, Frances is not on her own. There have been a number of recent stinging episodes, so please be careful around that area (not that you have many choices if wasps decide to sting you!)
If you’ve been badly stung recently, please share locations in the comments here to help others avoid it.