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Busy as a, Wasp?

by User Not Found | Apr 05, 2012

BUSY-AS-A-WASP
I have noticed Bumble bees and Wasps are out visiting our garden again. While everyone knows that Bumble bees only do good in the garden pollinating our plants and that they rarely sting even when provoked, few people realise that Wasps actually do plenty of good too.

In spring the queen wasp emerges from hibernating in logs or other dry places and makes a round paper nest from chewed up twigs and wood fibre. When it is large enough she begins to lay eggs.

The young larvae are fed with whatever protein is available such as aphid and caterpillars and within a few weeks the population can get quite big. A strong nest can have hundreds of workers that all gather nectar and forage for greenflies. This must seriously impact on the amount of green fly munching through our Lupins and Roses. So without them and our friends the ladybirds we would be quickly snowed under with hoards of greenfly.
Wasps in the Garden

However by late summer the queen seems to lose control over all her workers and they get very greedy and are very bothersome when they get sugar mad and fly around us when we decide to eat our dinner “al Fresco”.

At this stage I usually go to war with them and put a little jam and water into jam jars about an inch deep. And cover the top of the jar with cling film that has a hole punched into it. They find it easy to get in but very hard to get out and large number will accumulate in a few hours on a hot day. I think this is kinder than spraying with harmful chemicals and at least they die with full tummies!

All the best for now,

 Malachy