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|Dead drunk or dead. How you will want to see all wasps.|
|Weight||0.5 ounces to 6.5 pounds|
|Length||0.01 inches to 8 inches|
|Special attack||Stings, loads of them|
|Biting, stinging bastards|
Sitting in a garden and about take a sip of a sweet fizzy drink..and then...PLOP! Hello? Your liquid refreshment has just become the graveyard of a wasp. Usually the first (and last time) you would have seen them before this. If it was a bee you wouldn't hesitate to it fish and place the bee head first inside a flower. But a wasp?....No...you have to...you can't let this one escape...THWACK!!!
This happens every day come the summer in millions of gardens around the world. The wasp has become your mortal enemy. The yellow and black attacker, the seeker of anything that could attract a sweet tooth. And that's not the half of it. Find them inside a fermenting fallen apple or prune ready pear and the wasp will be DRUNK too. This is when the wasp acts like an English tourist on a cheap holiday in Majorca, ready to launch itself at the nearest human and sting you on the nearest bit of exposed flesh it can find.
For the wasp is a justly feared insect. The really big ones are called Hornets and those are ones that even men the size of Hulk Hogan would baulk to tackle. Because an 'attacked wasp' sends out an S.O.S. by farting out a pheromone which translated reads 'ATTACK THAT BASTARD IN THE GREEN SHORTS AND WHITE HAT'. So wasps are not to be treated with lightly.
edit Social Wasps and Anti-Social Wasps
So you think all wasps are the buzzing Spawn of Satan? Actually, the 'social wasps' are actually 'nicer' than the anti-social wasps. These are also called 'Solitary wasps' and for good reasons. These ones live alone in bedsits, mate once a year with a local itinerant and then prepare a home for their new babies. Being wasps, they don't have access to welfare or charities so instead they find caterpillars. Instead of killing them and sticking the body in a fridge, the solitary wasp paralyses the caterpillar with some off-colour bee jokes and then sticks it inside a burrow so it can't move. Then the wasp lays an egg on the body of the caterpillar and then leaves. Not such much as forwarding address or cute fluffy toy for the baby wasp to play with. It can however play - and then eat - the caterpillar before heading out to the wide world. The extreme anti-social wasps go one better and lay the eggs on the caterpillar without bothering to find it a home. A few weeks later, the baby wasps will burst out the hapless leaf crawler in a scene too extreme even for Alien.
Therefore the 'social' wasps are better? Well they live in a nest and share all the housekeeping and cleaning chores. Being wasps they don't have a problem with this and many of their nests are objects of beauty. Better than the bees in their artificial hives created by humans or the slovenly ant nests under paving stones. (and we won't talk about Termites either).
edit Family Life
Social wasps are very communual and for a male wasp, a place like heaven indeed. The male wasp isn't expected to do anything except lay around the nest and watch grasshopper porno tumblr links. They are also useless at hunting for meat and either rely on other wasps to feed them or kick bees out of flowers to stick their long tongues into the golden nectar. It means the boys come back to the wasp nest, stinking of pollen and are usually forced to sleep on the doorstep until the smell goes.
The real hard work is all done by the female wasps and that includes the queen. She hasn't got a husband anymore. Mr Non-Nest Builder provided her first meal after their airbourne sex orgy when the sky was full of wasp grappling. The queen has to go nest hunting on her own and bring up the family. The boys (the drones) stay at home whilst it is their sisters who venture out looking for food to feed everyone inside.
edit Supposed good things they do
Odd thing is that humans are told to be grateful that wasps exist. We are told that without wasps, flies and other badder insects would be eating all our food. This is just propaganda put out by wasp huggers, people who can be found adopting sharks or sleeping with scorpions. In other words, unbalanced.
I can't say I have ever see a wasp kill a beetle so if they are doing this supposed stuff, it must be in the dark or in deep inside bushes. Wasps have been seen attacking bees, breaking into their hives for a quick 'honey' high. Often this about the only thing male wasps are capable of but will often end up hanging around in fly blown bars with bachelor bee drones, watching some sordid stick insect gyrating on a pole for nectar tips.
Only Humans hate wasps. The rest of the Animal World are scared of them. In fact, quite a few impersonate wasps so you can waste your time chasing an insect that looks like a wasp but turns out to be a harmless (if still obnoxious) fly. About the only insect not scared of them are ants but they attack a wasp if mob handed and on the ground. So it would have to be a really sleepy/drunk/fat wasp to get done in this way. Bees always try their 'hippy' sharing approach to wasps, presenting pots of honey in an attempt to buy off the wasps.
edit Difference between a bee and a wasp
Bees collect pollen which they think is a noble profession for an insect to indulge in. They regard wasps as common, noisy and ugly. Bees do have thicker waists than wasps because honey makes you fat. Wasps have very thin waists. The solitary wasps an even skinnier outline. In the past this was helped by wearing wasp sized corsets but now wasps are just good at staying slim, especially the female ones.
Schooling also comes into it. Bees buzz with English accents whilst wasps sting with Katherine Hepburn style venom. Nasal and whiny. That is why wasps in America prefer to be called W.A.S.Ps.
edit Deadly drunken attacks
In August (or January if you are reading this article in Australia), the former Social wasp flies to the Dark Side. This is also called the 'Great Kicking Out'. The latest generation of wasps have flown the nest. No one is now going out shopping for fresh flies and soon the place descends into the worst slum you have ever seen. The Queen Wasp goes outside for one last, long buzz around and then dies. The boys who came back after failing to score are eaten by their sisters. The chemical signal they once both had shared has been changed by the injection of male wasp testosterone when trying to attract the waspy talent. The female wasps now see their brothers as big walking meat pies and will attack and suck them dry.
Once the male wasps have been finished off, it's time for dessert and a long drink of something sugary for the happy lady wasps. This is when your strawberry cake resembles a wasp holiday camp if you leave it uncovered. Fruit lying on the ground become late night bars full of all sorts of insects who would be normally killing and eating each other. Ants, flies, disorientated bees and wasps can be found all together, their mouths sucking the sugar as it turns to alcohol. Then when they've finished with that, those who can still fly or crawl will go to the next rotten fruit and stay there.
By October, all these wasps will have died of acute alcohol poisoning. This will only leave those new queens who kept their sugar intake to the minimum and are now looking for new homes to share with you over the winter. So be careful. A warm light may entice a female queen wasp to suddenly appear and head straight for it to explode like a mini firecracker. I speak from experience. One wasp cost me my house in the resulting fire.