Sunday, 9 August 2009

Lets Hear It For The Wasp.....

A couple of quick posts now. The wasp has a pretty bad reputation as a whole. "The only good wasp is a dead wasp" and "What use does a wasp have except to sting people?" are oft quoted statements by just about everyone. Nearly all of us can be seen at the moment waving our arms around to ward them off, chasing them with rolled up newspapers or luring them to their doom with jam pots ( Jam a la Brea I call them).

Well it's time that somebody stood up for them and made people think before they extinguish so many lives. You have to admire them in so many ways and a couple of things need to be mentioned in their defence. Firstly, what are they good for? Well wasps are active hunters and do much more good than harm, plundering all sorts of pests for both farmer and gardener. Secondly they are a wonderful social insect with a complex life cycle that is on a par with any bee. Finally, just consider the life of the working wasp. Born to a queen in Spring, to serve the nest all Summer on behalf of the next generation - theirs is a life of toil.

Eventually, as the year moves on, the next generation of queens leave the nest and, at this point, the nest becomes virtually inactive and the workers are literally at a loose end. This is the wasp's "dozy" time. There is no point to their existence and they are condemned to a miserable day to day survival until the first frosts kill them off - all of them. Not a single worker survives. But the queen remains and sleeps in her nest until the Spring and then the whole cycle starts again.

Remember then. When the "dozy" wasps are around, seemingly punch-drunk and determined to sting you, remember to give them a little respect for they are all about to die after a life of selfless servitude to the cause. Let's hear it for the wasp......


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