On Friday evening, after choir practice, a fellow chorister asked me if I could do anything about the wasp nest in her compost heap. It had been a nuisance for ages but had suddenly gone quiet. I took a peep and no wasps were to be seen, but it was in the cool of the evening. I didn’t probe as we were unprotected and I’m allergic to wasp stings.

Later that evening I was chatting with a pal who is a gardener.  He also asked me if I could help with a wasp nest in a customer’s hedge that she wanted cutting back. That nest too had suddenly gone quiet.

Next morning, armed with a can of wasp spray, some seccateurs and my anti-histamines I went to investigate. The lady told me where the nest was – in a cotoneaster hedge against a wall of the bungalow and adjacent the path. I soon found the nest. It was big!  Bigger than many swarms.

There was no sign of life so, gingerly at first, then more confidently, I cut away the twigs that ran in front of and through it, enabling me to remove it intact. It is now sat on my freezer and, when I have finished examining it myself, I think I shall ask whether the school would like it for nature study.

So maybe we don’t have to worry about marauding wasps until next year. Last year they wiped out a complete apiary of 4 prosperous hives, taking brood, stores, the lot!


About chrissladesbeeblog

I have been keeping bees since 1978 and currently have about a dozen hives. I am a member of the BBKA where for many years I represented Dorset at the Annual Delegates' Meeting. I am the co-author (with Dave MacFawn of of S. Carolina) of "Getting the Best from Your Bees" and am working on a book of my own poems : "Bee People".
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  1. Duncan says:

    I’m still seeing plenty of wasps, so they’re still around.
    Incidentally, the professionals use Nippon ant powder for wasp nests in case you’re tempted to treat one yourself.

  2. Joan Timms says:

    I am VERY allergic to wasp stings and have to carry an epi-pen at all times. I would never take the risk that you took Chris as with a sting I am unconscious in less than a minute. I have still seen a few about and at this time of year one can find a sleepy wasp trying to find a warm place indoors. I have got several ‘Waspinators’ ( an imitation wasp nest – Google it) which I hang around the garden which do seem to keep them away. A nest is best destroyed at night when all the wasps are in it.

    • Thanks for your comment Joan. Before I retired I was qualified as a First Aider for over 20 years. Yvonne was a Police Sergeant so presumably she would have been even better qualified. If the lads had been likely to go down with anaphyllactic shock they would have been down and out long before they got as far as where we were. I, too, have a bad reaction to wasp stings (but not as bad as yours) and, on my Doctor’s advice, I carry anti-histamine pills with me (in the car usually) during the wasp season; however training for First Aiders is emphatic that one should never give a pill to anybody. We’re not qualified for that and could be sued if things went wrong as a result. If either lad had collapsed, then the treatment is as for shock: put in the recovery position, dispensing as much reassurance as possible, while dialling 999 on the mobile phone, being prepared to do artificial repiration if necessary until the ambulance arrives.

  3. Adan Patella says:

    For the most part, antihistamines are safe. Having said that, antihistamines can have side effects which, if the antihistamine is not properly administered, can be serious. The truth is, all medications have side effects. Some are mild, as in the case of an aspirin, unless you have stomach ulcers or aspirin sensitivity and others are more serious such as the side effects from chemotherapy, but for the most part, antihistamine side effects are fairly mild. The newest antihistamines are probably about the safest medications that there are. But there are differences between the various antihistamines and their side effects.`

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  4. Ike Hurde says:

    Antihistamines are most commonly used to control the symptoms of allergies such as hay fever.In these conditions they work by preventing the actions of histamine, which is a substance produced by the body as part of its natural defences.:

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