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wasps' nest July 2016


There’d been a bit of buzzing in one of my sheds, tiny fliers to-ing nd fro-ing.

Had it been outside the shed, round the side or the back, I’d have tried not to disturb them, but in the shed was a different matter: it would only be a matter of time before one of us got in the other’s way.

I tried a bit of generalised spraying, but it didn’t seem to have any effect.

Eventually I had to sort that shed out: i’d been putting stuff in there “for now” and I needed to clear it all out and stack it properly. I had a stack of polystyrene boxes right at the back that i was going to use for concreting to make planters “one day”.

As I pulled each one out, the buzzing got louder, until i pulled the last one out – and dropped it in a hurry:

i sprayed it liberally and left it for a while. When i went back, there was still faint buzzing coming from it, so I gave it a good second dose. The blast from the spray was strong enough to break some of the nest open.

Looked at closely, the arhcitecture is amazing: all made out of wood-pulp paper and spit, and the design is no less amasing, with cooling vents, air circulation and all.

And the nursery:

I still feel rather bad that I had to destroy the nest – it was a small nest now but how big might it have become later?

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For all the effort that goes into the building of these nests and increasing the population of the workers, it is only the queen that survives the winter while all the others die. So in reality the only one that matters is the queen and she probably flew off at the very first disturbance of the nest leaving the workers to do the defense. I see no problem of ridding these nests where they cross paths with our essential comings and goings and as such trigger painful defensive attacks from them.

2 Apr, 2017


Oo'er Fran, you are braver tham I am, think I would have run a mile and then when calmed down search for a man with a smoke gun.....

2 Apr, 2017


I know that not all wasps eat garden pests, just as not all bees make honey, but I'd still rather leave them alone if I possibly can: if nothing else, they're food for other animals.

I did think of trying to provide an alternative opportunity : there's about an 18" gap between the side of the shed and the fence - but I didn't know how to make an offer that might be accepted.

If there's room in an area for a wasp nest, a wasp nest will happen, so i'd rather one happened out of my way; that would stop any others trying to move in.

2 Apr, 2017


It's up to the queen to decide on location. For instance a wasp nest was constructed behind a side view mirror on my car. The whole colony, workers, queen and all held on tight when I went back and forth to work every day until they started to fly into my car. Then I use a high pressure water spray to knock out the nest from behind that side view mirror. They did their foraging at my work local and I bet they were all back on board when it was time for me to go home.

2 Apr, 2017


wow, that's amazing - wasps commuting! pity any wasp who missed the ride home - either a very long flight or hang on till the next day - so long as it wasn't a Friday.

I've never really thought much about where wasps choose to build nests; i'd always vaguely assumed it'd be somewhere they would'nt be disturbed and could get on with their lives. I'll have to start doing some Googling on the subject.

2 Apr, 2017


update: the last two times I've been into the shed, there's been a single buzzy thing in there. Maybe I should drench the back of the shed in spray, just in case ... no polystyrene boxes in there now, but plenty of other possible nest-sites.

6 Apr, 2017


As long as it doesn't physically interfere with you I suggest you leave it bee:) In any case, with heavily drenching your shed with insecticidal spray you might become the one on your back wiggling your appendages up in the air.

6 Apr, 2017


lol I didn't mean literally drenching the shed, just giving the contents at the back of it a good spraying in late afternoon and shutting the door for at least overnight and maybe the next day as well.

I had thought of putting up a net curtain inside the door - i've got such at my front and back doors, to discourage insect egress - but of course I'd need to know that I wasn't shugging anything IN, rather than OUT,

6 Apr, 2017

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