I really dislike wasps. To be honest, they haven’t really tried to enamour me over the years.
My first wasp experience came at about age 11 when I sat on a wall at school, put my palm down flat and on top of a basking wasp I hadn’t spotted and it stung me on the fleshy part at the base of my thumb.
My second experience was when my fiancé and I were travelling to see my parents. We had to change buses and there was a bit of a wait before the second bus. It was a fine day so we were enjoying the sunshine and chatting. I was wearing a pale blue dress with round pearl buttons and loops down the front. Unknown to me, a wasp crept sneakily into a gap between buttons and then stung me on the boob. I shouted out in shock. Over the road there was a Working Men’s Club and a group of men were sitting outside having a lunchtime drink. Imagine their amusement as my fiancé grabbed the front of my dress and wrenched it open with a ping, ping, ping of little pearl buttons, to enable the wasp to fly away having done its evil deed. It didn’t end there. After we arrived at my parents’, I was in the kitchen telling my mother about the tale when I felt another sharp sting at the top of my leg. I shouted out that I’d been stung again. My mother (always so sympathetic and tolerant) told me to stop being hysterical. The fiancé grabbed the hem of my dress and pulled it up over the top of my head, just as my dad walked into the kitchen to see what all the fuss was about. He saw my dress being forcibly removed, turned round and went out again. Indeed I had been stung again at the top of my leg.
The next time it happened was when my children were small. In those days, you put your baby down for an afternoon nap in her pram out in the garden. For that reason, we used to buy a pram net which went over the top of the pram and its elasticated border prevented insects, cats etc. getting into the pram. Allegedly. I was doing dishes in the kitchen when I spotted something crawling over my baby and rushed into the garden to investigate. There was not one wasp in there with her but THREE. In a blind panic, I wrenched off the net and grabbed her but unfortunately one wasp stung her on the arm at the same time.
The next time involved my poor baby again. We were seeing some visitors off on the drive when a wasp landed on my daughter’s ear. Her natural reaction to this tickling insect was to bring up her shoulder to her ear, thus trapping said menace. Of course it stung – right on her ear lobe. I’ve never seen something so amazing and horrible as what happened over the next hour. Her ear swelled to about double its size and a quick call to the doctor confirmed that it was a bad place for a sting as there is nowhere for the swelling to go so the ear just gets bigger and bigger.
Last year they little blighters moved into my house as well, building their papery nest in the eaves, flitting back and forward making it bigger and bigger and taunting us to try and do something about it. They ‘ate’ our garden shed too. If you went over to the shed, you could see and hear them scraping the wood away to masticate it to make their new home!
So, as you can see, I have had some nasty run-ins with wasps. In my opinion, they serve little purpose. They don’t sting to protect themselves. Oh no. They have a vengeance on humans, plotting when and where to cause mayhem. I am convinced that having delivered their sting, they fly away grinning from ear to ear at having got one more victim.
Wasps – what a pain they are.
I was stung multiple times as a boy and developed a real hatred and aversion to them. However teaching in Spetmeber and October you could not allow yourself to be reduced to a nervous blubbering wreck in front of classes so I developed grerat skill in swatting them without breaking stride in my brilliant teaching.
Last year however I heard Chris Packham on about how useful wasps were to our environment, since then I have carefully captured any in the house and released them unharmed.
They do rermain a nusiance when they want to share your space outdoors though……..
I suspect, rtaher like bees, we treat all species the same, and there are many different types within the genera ‘wasp’.
Its not delivberate that I mistype, irs just a shame that my speed of typing doesn’t permit simple spellchucking on this sytem
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