A childhood amongst the weeds, wild flowers, and insects profoundly affected my interest in and love of insects. High school and college interests in chemistry blended with interests in entomology ultimately steered me toward the chemical ecology and venoms of wasps, ants and bees. My academic career carried me to the four corners of North America: beginning at Penn State for a B.S., then to British Columbia for an M.Sc, on to Georgia for a Ph.D., to New Brunswick on a postdoc, and finally to Tucson AZ. I currently investigate the biology, medical importance, and impact of bees, wasps, and ants on people and our structures at the Southwestern Biological Institute and University of Arizona. This work has resulted in over 185 publications, 20 book chapters and invited reviews, two edited books, several hundred scientific presentations, and the 2015 Ig Nobel Prize in Physiology and Entomology. My latest book “The Sting of the Wild” will be released in March 2016.