To stir up a hornet's nest

to provoke the attack of a swarm of spiteful enemies or spirited critics.

See also: Hornet

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
References in periodicals archive ?
"I don't want to stir up a hornet's nest, but if I was a black person and people called me names it would be classed as racist and the offenders could be arrested for it.
The languid Venus is a "demonic phantom," and the children represent "nightmare terrors" (141) who are about to stir up a hornet's nest as they obscenely play with lance and conch shell.
``There is no meat on the bones yet and all David Moffett has done is to stir up a hornet's nest.''