A few years ago I had an unusual wasp job. The wasp nest was built in a car. There is nothing unusual about this (I have done nests in boats, cars, televisions, toilets etc) the unusual factor is that the owner of the car commuted to work on a daily basis. Normally if a nest is ‘moved’ then workers returning after foraging would find the nest not there & either die or attempt to re build. In any case the nest would not be able to survive so much disruption. The mortality of wasp nests is extremely high under normal circumstances. So the question I asked myself is what happened to the workers who left while the car was parked at the workplace or on the way to work? Did they wait for the car to return? What about the weekend? I think it just shows just how little is known about these remarkable (but hated) insects. The wasp nest was treated and the problem ceased.
Another unusual treatment was a job I did in Tilehurst, Reading at an old peoples home. They reported two wasps nests, one in a store/lean to and another in a chair at the bottom of the garden. I carried out an initial inspection to see how I would tackle the nests and see what access and other equipment I would need. I could see hundred of wasps flying around the store but couldn’t see a nest or any obvious access point into a nest. The wasps just seemed to be flying around. I went to inspect the site of the other nest in an old chair at the bottom of the garden. This was simple so I got my veil, PPE and duster from the van and tackled this nest. I returned to the store and the wasp level was the same but no nest. I then asked if the chair had been in the store. The answer was yes, the chair had been removed the week before. What had happened was that the chair contained the wasp nest, unnoticed until the chair was removed. Once the chair was missing the majority of the wasps got lost, either leaving the chair at the top of the garden then returning to the old site of the chair or they had left the nest before the chair had been moved and when they returned found the chair missing. Any new worker wasps produced after the chair had been moved would know no difference, returning to the new site of the nest.
This just highlights how amazing the nest in the car was. Normally wasp nests can’t function if a nest is moved a few yards.
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