Society

350,000 Wasps Extracted From Camper By Eric 'Critter' McCool

| by Khier Casino

A South Carolina man who makes a living removing bee swarms and nests from trees and around homes captured a video of what he claims to be the biggest wasp nest in the state.

Robert McDougal, a resident of Moncks Corner and owner of Hurry Up Towing, was unaware of a nest in the fold-down camper in his storage yard until he lifted it with a forklift, the Daily Mail reports.

Incredibly, he wasn’t stung as he sat still for 20 minutes until pest control arrived.

Eric "Critter" McCool, owner of McCool's Wildlife Control & Bee Extractions, estimates the nest to be 10 feet long by 7 feet wide and 2 feet tall with an estimated 350,000 wasps.

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Watch the video of the massive nest that McCool caught on camera here.

“I was virtually inside the nest,” he told The Post and Courier‎. “It was very hot, stuffy. It was like crawling through a bunch of cushions, and you could feel them buzzing against the bee suit.”

But McCool was too cool for these insects and he managed to remove 37 queens, by hand.

Wasps, or Yellow Jackets, are known for delivering painful stings multiple times. But McCool says he’s used to it by now because he has been stung more than 6,000 times in the last two decades of his job.

He didn’t want to use pesticides despite the advice of his colleagues in the business to just burn the nest out. Instead, he used a “bee vacuum and grabbing bags.”

“The possibility of killing this nest with pesticides was virtually impossible — it was too big,” McCool told WCIV-TV.

Yellow jacket nests are occasionally very large and wasps are also known as the “lightweight” bee.

The nest that McDougal discovered rivals another nest found in Charleston County in the 1990s, which estimated to have 250,000 worker bees.

Sources: Daily MailThe Post and Courier‎, WCIV-TV

Image Credit: Antje Schultner/Flickr