Why be a wasp when you can be a bee?

I love bees. I love the way they just go around minding their own business, grabbing nectar here and there and being all cute and fluffy (ish).

Now, let’s turn our attention to the dark side of the buzzing world –  the wasp. It seems to be a universally hated insect that just doesn’t know when its presence is no longer required, a bit like the last punter in the pub long after it’s closed. It insists on creating a paper-thin home in the most inconvenient of places and inviting far too many of its friends round for a sleepover or two.  I have come across such wondrous installations in and around our home: beside our front door, around the only access point to our house, in our attic rendering it unusable until they have had enough of our hospitality or Winter comes. A personal favourite is the comb ceiling above the family loo. We installed a radio to drown out the noise they made.

Doing some research it seems they have a similar job to bees and what they do for the environment because they gather nectar too. They also eat bugs and other small insects to feed to their families, which is nice. I wouldn’t want my kids to starve either. Is there anything else they do that is a positive slant? Nope? Anyone?

On one such horrific ‘what if’ moment for me – I remember closing the bathroom window before going to bed one night. It was around end September/beginning of October and we knew they had been flying about the window but hadn’t seen any evidence of a landing or a potential set up of new wasp home.

Entering the bathroom the next again morning, there was a large v-shaped apparition on the other side of the frosted window. It stretched down for about 3 feet and consisted of wasps. Thousands and thousands of them. I stopped in my tracks and watched as they squirmed round and round. I suddenly found I didn’t need the loo after all. The loud buzzing put us off brushing our teeth so we decamped to the kitchen sink and our usual bought of pre-school football was cancelled. Water-logged pitch I said.

I still shudder to think what would have happened if the window had been left open that night. Would they have crawled up my nose or into my mouth? Do they do things like that? I have an itchy head now for some reason.

I have no idea why they did it, they didn’t do it again and we never saw them after that. Was it a formation they use before they swarm off somewhere else? Was our house not warm/dry/child-free enough for them?Who knows really.

Please don’t stay, I tell them. They have listened so far.