City acts after yellowjackets attack in Berkeley park

Aerial view of Codornices showing the location of the swarm of yellowjackets that attacked several people, and at least one dog, today. Photo: Carter Tomasi
Aerial view of Codornices Park showing the location of a swarm of yellowjackets that sent one person to the hospital and stung several others today. Photo: Carter Tomassi/Google Maps

The city of Berkeley is taking action after what appears to be a swarm of yellowjackets attacked several people and at least one dog in Berkeley’s Codornices Park at around 10 a.m. today.

Local resident Mimi Abers needed to go to the hospital emergency room after what she described as a “vicious attack.”

“It was right up the hill from the playgrounds. There are a bunch of trees there and I think the yellowjackets nest in them,” she told Berkeleyside via email just before 3 p.m. “I’ve seen them before but never had as vicious an attack. I had multiple stings on my head and upper body. It must have been about 20. Anyone allergic to bees should avoid this area. It’s been five hours and I still have pain, but not as bad as the first three hours. One of the dogs I had who is black was also bitten, but not my white one.”

Carter Tomassi, who alerted Berkeleyside to the incidents, said the attacks happened on the loop path along the eastern rim of the park that runs from the ball field picnic areas to the creek bridge. (He supplied us with the map above to show the location.)


The head of the city’s parks department, Scott Ferris, said he would be sending a contractor to the park this evening to remove the wasps. Ferris was alerted to the problem by local councilwoman Susan Wengraf, who herself was alerted by local resident Sara Lee, who told her she was stung in the same location a few days ago.

Lee wrote to Wengraf: “Our usual dog group was in Codornices this morning and walking the high trail were attacked by a swarm of bees or yellowjackets. Several people had many of them in their hair and couldn’t get them out. Three people and one dog were stung… I’m letting you know because of all the kids that run around there. If they can’t get rid of them they need to post signs because the insects were very aggressive.”

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder and editorial director at Berkeleyside. Email: tracey@berkeleyside.com.