Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The sting

It would appear that I have squatters. There is a crack in the eaves where I have spied wasps hovering then disappearing. I don’t like the thought of wasps in my roof. I don’t like the thought of wasps full stop. They will have to be dealt with.

I don’t like the concept of killing anything, least of all suffocating a whole town of creatures with poisonous gas. I am not Saddam Hussein. However, I will make an exception when it comes to wasps. Wasps are evil.

I had no problem with them until the age of 19 when I was stung for the first time. I had been swimming in a water-filled quarry in the Malvern Hills and was sitting eating a Nutella sandwich. A wasp decided it wanted some of my lunch and refused to go away. I ran off with my sandwich; it chased me and stung me on my bare back below my shoulder blade. It felt as though someone had dropped the end of a lit cigarette on my defenceless flesh.

That was when I declared war on wasps. A traveller I picked strawberries with summed them up perfectly: “Wasps are the skinheads of the insect nation; they have no purpose other than going round beating people up.”

Bees are a totally different proposition. Fundamentally, unlike a wasp that can – and will - jab away willy-nilly, a bee has to have the mentality of a suicide bomber to sting you. Besides, how can something that creates a substance as luscious as honey mean any harm? There are numerous deep orange-bottomed bumble bees feasting on the flowering clover in the Grey Mare’s field at the moment. Many a time I have fished bumblers out of the water trough on sticks, and left them to dry on the fencepost.

I wouldn’t do that for a wasp. I’d hold it under.


Anonymous said...

Don't like either I'm afraid. A friend of mine used to keep bees but apart from the honey which I don't like, I just didn't see the point. Wasps are dreadfully evil as you say. I think they like perfume and hairspray!
Hope you get the problem sorted, I don't envy you. How do the horses cope with wasps?

mountainear said...

Swat 'em.

Here's a good wasp story:

Gill said...

I was once stung in the mouth whilst eating an extra strong mint! Despite that I don't hate wasps, everything has a purpose in the natural world. They are a nuisance if they nest in the house though, you can buy some foam stuff in Wilkinsons that you spary into the nest. My daughter however would like to make a wasp torture device similar to the one in the Wasp Factory by Iain Banks.

lady macleod said...

It is very difficult to type when I am giggling..

-"squatters": on first glance I feared you had developed some horrid rash or affliction of the bum!

-my policy is that I kill anything that is trying to kill me or cause me bodily harm. I do however try for karmic reasons to kill without glee. I fear for you on this score.

-Nutella: my kind of woman!

-"skinheads of the.." I'm still laughing.

I am in agreement regarding the nature of bees.

-"Hold it under.." no glee sweetie, watch the glee.

I'm still laughing.

Nunhead Mum of One said...

Hate wasps too - I was first stung at aged eleven after watching Jaws 3. Memories like that can scar a person! But bumbles are a different you I nurture them, we had a very dopy bee out the garden last summer and the lucky chap got a dollop of honey and a dollop of jam on the bench seat next to him. he was soon off and flying less lethargically. Wasps in my household get squashed with a fair amount of pleasure.

Flowerpot said...

I echo your sentiments re wasps. I was stung more times than I can remember as a child, notably on my finger, turning a tap on once, and skipping round the garden. Bastards. Hate them!

The Grocer said...

No, NO, NOOOOO, Wasps are good, Wasps prey on other insects that without Wasps would multiply hugely and be even bigger nuisances. We need Wasps just live and let live girl.

Karen said...

I HATE wasps.

Was stung by something (unsure whether bee or wasp) on adam's apple and was frozen to spot by fear. After that for about a year I would smother myself head to foot with insect repellant, wear jeans and a long sleeve jumper during summer - even when on holiday near Malvern in sweltering heat.

Slowly I managed to overcome such depths of fear but still very much dislike wasps. Bees are lovely and can cope with them fine.

You should definitely read The Wasp Factory if you haven't already. I would also like to write a piece of music based on the deaths metered out in the book.

Karen said...

Did you see the programme about the Japanese hornets? Horrifying yet fascinating programme presented by a Buddhist monk I believe.

Marianne said...

I used to like bees, until one flew in through the open car window as I was driving along, collided with my eyebrow, took it as a threat and stung me as I drove. Wasps are thoroughly nasty creature though.

jenny said...

Not only is your post funny, I laughed at all the comments posted in here too!! HAHAHAHA... ahem! Must not laugh at other's pain. I just wrote a post of my own about being stung by a wasp not knowing you wrote this one. Hope you got your squatter problem solved?

Natural Blonde said...

I’ve never been stung by either but I did drive through a swarm of something (don’t know whether it was wasps or bees) as I left the allotment carpark at the weekend. They weren’t there when I got in the car but someone must have disturbed them. It was very strange.

I keep getting bitten by ants on my allotment, though….

But, The Grocer is right; the planet is a delicate eco system and wasps must have a purpose, no doubt, as he says eating lots of other creepy crawlies.

My two least favourite creepy crawlies are mosquito’s and cockroaches…too much time spent whilst living in Egypt with the both of them. I did go though a point of killing cockroaches with glee, actually gleefully with a back of a shoe, but have got over that now. When I go back there now, I measure the increased wealth of the town I go to be number of trips without seeing a cockroach.

Orhan Kahn said...

That was just so fun to read. Although I've never been stung by a wasp before I've stepped on a bee and that really wasn't nice.

My manager at work just recently got stung in the face by a wasp, he looked as if he'd been beaten up.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

The traveller was wise and witty, and right. Hold the bastards under, that's what i say

Gill said...

yeah-let's just kill everything we don't like or understand...