|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|
|Bloody millions of 'em|
“We eat butterflies and sting like wasps!”
“Bees are pussies and ants are dirty. Wasps sting arse!”
It's a summer's day. Drinks have been poured, there is food on the table and a lot of cakes and tarts to tuck in. A few flies come by - you can wave those away but then...Yellow Jackets at 6.00 o'clock. A horde of black and yellow wasps have spotted your feast and are coming down to share. Some head for the jam tarts whilst others go straight for an opened can and then..PLOP...in it goes. If it was a bee, you would scoop it out and let it dry out. But this is a wasp! You show no mercy...THWAAAACK..another yellow bastard has gone to that nest in the sky.
Scenes like this happen every summer. For the wasp is a justly feared insect and now they have a raging sweet tooth. The really big wasps are known as 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'.
Social Wasps and Anti-Social Wasps
You can normally tell a wasp from other insects because they love to wear anything yellow or gold. This colour preference is why wasps are often called 'yellow jackets'. It is also proclaims their 'fight club' attitude to anything else. The message is 'keep clear buster' if you want to live another day.
So you think all wasps are the buzzing Spawn of Satan? That is certainly true. They also come as two distinct types: The Social wasp and the Anti-Social wasp or 'Solitary wasp'. And did I mention that they are Amazons? Wasps like ants and bees are societies where egg ducts reign supreme.
Let's start with the Anti-Social types. These wasps live alone in bedsits, mate once a year with a local itinerant fellow wasp 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. A solitary wasp paralyses the caterpillar with some off-colour bee jokes and then sticks it inside a burrow so it can't move. 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 when it gets older. It can however play with - 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 slums under paving stones, a wasp nest is a thing of beauty. They are often made of paper and are often constructed like round lampshades. Social wasps are proud of their construction skills. Each nest is unique as they never use the same residence twice. This gives them another excuse to look down on their fellow social insects.
Social wasps are very communual and for a male wasp, a place like heaven indeed. The male wasp (called drones for their boring voices) isn't expected to do anything except lay around the nest and watch grasshopper porno tumblr links. Male wasps are also largely useless at hunting for food and either rely on other wasps to feed them or kick bees out of flowers to stick their 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. Also wasps (unlike Jedi) have the ability to chemically sense their siblings to avoid incest.
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 seen 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.
Wasps are happy they have so few enemies. 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. Perhaps because wasps despise them so much, ants will often attack a nest and strip it bare of everything including furniture and bedding - besides eating any baby wasps too young to escape. Adult wasps are more immune to ant attacks unless they end up on the ground and can't fly away because they're on a sugar high or drunk on natural cider.
Humans on the other hand are a menace to wasps and they will try anything to eliminate them on the grounds of safety. Millions of wasps have died as a result but they have long memories. A day of reckoning will soon come for the Naked Ape.
Difference between a bee and a wasp
Bees always try their 'hippy' sharing approach to wasps, presenting pots of honey in an attempt to buy off the wasps. This rarely works. A wasp is likely to take the honey and eat the bee.
By collecting pollen, bees think what they do is a noble profession. 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.
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 princess wasps have flown the nest to look for their Drone wasp Prince Charming (who then become their first 'instasnack'). No one is now going out shopping for fresh flies and soon the wasp hive descends into the worst slum you have ever seen. The queen wasp goes outside for one last, long buzz around and then dies. The boy wasps who came back after failing to score with a girly wasp are eaten by their grumpy 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 queen 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.