What are your views on wasps? Do you see them as pests which must be destroyed or do you see them as an essential part of the kingdom of nature? Do you dislike them on sight, or do you honour them as pollinators which give us our food? Do you ever think about them, properly? Do you look at them and notice the beauty and intricacy of their markings, and do you know that there are many different species of wasps? Do you know that wasp numbers are declining, to a degree that is alarming? Do you kill wasps?
It is a rare person who sees the endearing aspect of the wasp kingdom and not the negativity that is typical of western society, and I was reminded of this at a supper party at the weekend when friends and neighbours discussed the wasp nests they had in their outbuildings and the best way to eradicate them. I asked why they had to be killed, and no-one could give an answer except to say that they might sting: six people had made an assumption, not through malice but through thoughtlessness, as many other men and women do all the time.
Wasps, hornets and bees make their home in many of the nooks and crannies of my house and garden: I have watched the wasps as they use the woods of the shingles and oak furniture to weave intricate nests with the greatest care, and this year for the first time they have built additionally in unused house martin nests, one right outside my office – this is a picture of it. All these stinging insects fly in and out of the windows, along with birds, butterflies, moths, and even bats, and they have never caused any trouble; they have only brought good with them, wherever they are found on my property, and I am happy their numbers here are increasing.
My neighbours may forget my alternative views on wildlife and killing wasps, which is their right and their choice, and you may wish to follow their example too. Before you do, please think about what you are doing with your powders and chemicals – and do what you do with awareness (for sometimes there is no alternative but to control creatures that are in the wrong place inadvertently) and not with thoughtlessness, for the sake of us all.]]>