“About 30 years ago, I was asked to exterminate a hive of wasps. About 30 years ago, I was asked to remove a hive of wasps, and that’s when my battle with wasps began. At first, without any prior knowledge, I recklessly approached the hive with only an insect net. I have been stung far more than 100 times. I’ve been stung in several places at once and had to be taken to the hospital because I had trouble breathing.
This is the story of Mr. Religion Kamiyama, 72, a “wasp hunter” in Utsunomiya City, Tochigi Prefecture (hereinafter referred to as “Mr. Kamiyama”).
September and October is a very exciting time for wasps, as the next year’s queen is born. In particular, this year’s extremely hot weather has made them even more ferocious than usual. By the end of August in Tanabe City, Wakayama Prefecture, 12 people were stung and taken to emergency rooms. This is already seven more than last year. Mr. Kamiyama, who has appeared on many TV programs as a “professional bee exterminator,” sounds the alarm.
Mr. Kamiyama, who has appeared as a “professional bee exterminator” on numerous TV programs, warns, “TV shows tend to show only the good parts and make people think that extermination is easy, but this is a big mistake. I had a lot of failures at first. It’s very dangerous for ordinary people to get close to bees.
“I thought I was going to die.
Mr. Kamiyama has been documenting his own painful experiences. The photo at the beginning of this article was taken around 1997. He was stung on his lower lip by a wasp.
“As soon as I opened the ceiling to repair a client’s bathroom, I was attacked by a wasp that had built a hive. I was wearing protective clothing, but they got inside through a crack. The swelling didn’t go away and I couldn’t chew food for a whole day.
The second photo (related image) is from about 15 years ago, when I was stabbed in my right eyelid after entering the eaves of a house. I thought a birdcage made of netting would protect my head, so I put on my head and approached the hive, but the netting was coarse and bees got inside and attacked me in four or five places. The pain was so intense and the nausea so bad that he once thought he was going to die.
“I learned a lot from my mistakes. I learned many things from my mistakes, such as working at night instead of during the day when bees are active. First, we sprayed insecticide on the hive and blocked the entrance. Wait for them to slow down. In the past, I used to get stung once every 10 times I worked, but now it’s about once every 100 times.
When you find a nest, it is important not to come within 5 meters of it. Avoid wearing dark clothes, too. Bees react to black objects because bears are their natural enemy. If you are stung, pinch the affected area to release as much venom as possible before going to the hospital.
Be careful if you experience cold sweat or violent heart palpitations after being stung. There are about 20 people every year who lose their lives due to a drop in blood pressure caused by an acute allergic reaction. The active season of wasps lasts until November.
Photo： Courtesy of Mr. Religion Kamiyama