The spelling of a name in the headline has been corrected.
It was man against massive wasp nest, and man prevailed. The man was Florida-based insect expert Jonathan Simkins, and the nest was the biggest he'd ever seen, maybe the biggest anyone has ever seen -- more than six and a half feet tall and eight feet wide, containing more than 1 million aggressive yellow jackets (Simkins normally deals with nests that contain one to 5,000 insects, he told local station WFLA).
Simkins, who runs a pest-control business in Tampa, was hired by the owner of a woodland property in central Florida to remove the nest, and he brought his camera to document the action.
“I have never seen a nest this large in my entire life,” Simkins said. “This is the prehistoric nest from the dinosaur ages.” In the video footage, Simkins, dressed in protective gear, speaks loudly to the camera over the loud hum of the flying insects. Many yellow jackets land on him, and at one point he says his chin has been stung.
"I have to be honest with you, I was terrified at one point, and there were several times that I had to pull out and get a breather. My heart rate was racing. I had hundreds of them on my veil," Simkins said.
Despite the fact that the nest was in a remote area, destroying it surely saved lives. “If somebody comes across this, [they're] not going to get away. You can see in the video, I run a hundred yards away and I still have thousands of yellow jackets chasing me, all over me, trying to kill me," he said.
Yellow jackets, a type of wasp marked by yellow and black coloring, are aggressive insects that can sting repeatedly. Their nests are built with a wood substance and they thrive in areas where the temperature doesn’t get below freezing.
In 2006, a giant yellow jacket nest filled the interior of an abondoned 1955 Chevrolet in Alabama. Scientists estimated it had 100,000 worker members and multiple queens.