The sunshine and alfresco dining of the summer months make us all too aware of the presence of wasps and bees – and the threat of getting stung.
But it is the arrival of autumn that reminds us of when wasps really are at their most annoying. No doubt you will have encountered some of autumn’s ‘dozy’ wasps over the last months as throughout October they crop up in lots of places and are in no hurry to leave.
So what is it that makes wasps such a pest in the autumn months?
Often described as ‘sleepy’ wasps having worked hard through the summer months the assumption is often that the wasps that lazily hang around are old and tired. The reality is more likely to be that they are hungry.
Busily buzzing backwards and forwards during the summer as they carry out their work the wasps are well fed and busy.
In the autumn all that changes. Worker wasps spend the summer supporting the hive and, in particular, finding food and feeding it to the developing larvae in the hive. The worker wasps find nutrition in a sugary substance produced by the larvae.
When these wasps mature and leave the nest, worker wasps find themselves out of work and out of a food source. So their attentions turn to whatever sweet food they can find – very often the fizzy drink you are enjoying in your garden or the lolly a child is lingering over on a day out.
Brave and adventurous
The search for food makes the wasps more adventurous and brave, taking them away from the garden where they have previously moved pollen around and devoured aphids.
Naturally, this shift in purpose brings more wasps into close contact with the humans whose food they are attracted to. With this, there is an increased risk of getting stung, especially as our instinct is to swat them away making them feel under threat.
Of course, if you find your home deluged by wasps it could be that you have a problem in that wasps may have chosen to build a hive on your property.
Highfield Farm, Middle Lane, Kings Norton, Birmingham B38 0DX
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