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What’s the point of wasps? Here’s the answer...

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 Bob Kemp 29 Apr 2021

More invertebrates... An interesting article from the Guardian. Worth a read for the last paragraph.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/apr/29/stinging-wasps-are-precious-not-pointless-say-scientists?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

 Trangia 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Good article, I think they are unjustly vilified, and have always been fascinated by them. Yes, yellow jackets have a painful sting and are best avoided. The worst thing you can do is to started flapping and waving your arms around if they start buzzing around you because that just agitates them and increases your chances of being stung, or worse still you might knock it with your arm into someone else, who then gets stung because you pissed it off. Best to stay calm and it will either loose interest or settle on your strawberry jam cream tea.

Even if one actually lands on your bare skin it generally won't sting, just let it walk along, and it will loose interest and fly off. If you are unlucky enough to get stung, it's generally the one you don't see that stings you, like one crawling in your bathing towel or up the curtains you have grabbed to close!

Remedies for stings include cutting an onion in half and putting it on the sting as soon as possible afterwards, various ointments including "After Sting" which I keep in my first aid kit (smells like pee as it's ammonia) and antihistamine tablets which I carry for hay fever.

In reply to Trangia:

> If you are unlucky enough to get stung, it's generally the one you don't see that stings you

That'll really make the wasp haters feel better!

 David Riley 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Trangia:

You are right, I don't mind wasps, and I've never been stung.

I was reluctant to remove a nest from the roof. But the builder refused to do work until it was gone.

They probably damage roof timbers chewing them up for nest making.

 LastBoyScout 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Trangia:

> Even if one actually lands on your bare skin it generally won't sting, just let it walk along, and it will loose interest and fly off. If you are unlucky enough to get stung, it's generally the one you don't see that stings you, like one crawling in your bathing towel or up the curtains you have grabbed to close!

I had a scar on my thumb joint for years from camping in France - picked up a washing up bowl, unaware there was a wasp just under the rim and crushed it into my thumb. Faded now, though.

A mate of mine got stung on his arse when one crawled up his shorts!

In reply to LastBoyScout:

> A mate of mine got stung on his arse when one crawled up his shorts!

Could have been worse (or better, if thats your thing). 

 gravy 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Bob Kemp:

It's the wrong question!

The correct question is, "what's the point of midges?"

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(A) to keep the hoards away from Scotland

In reply to Bob Kemp:

It's a strange, anthropocentric question in the first place!

The point of wasps, in so far as anything has a point, is to make more wasps.

 jdh90 29 Apr 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

That happened to one of the lads on scout camp when I was a teenager. Right on the helmet. He didn't seem to be enjoying it.

Another had a hornet land on his arse but managed to assassinate it with a mallet without being stung.

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 Hooo 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Trangia:

I generally don't mind wasps and I leave them be, but they can be right bastards sometimes.

I was mantling on to the top of a sandstone boulder problem when one of the stripey f*ckers stung me on the back of the hand, for no reason whatsoever. 

And on my first ever trad trip I must have stepped on a nest because I was surrounded by a swarm of them and got at least 15 stings.

In reply to Trangia:

> Good article, I think they are unjustly vilified, and have always been fascinated by them.

I have always said that they are the sharks of the air! 

 timjones 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Our first mistake is being naive enough as a species to believe that we can or should understand the purpose of everything else

Wasps just are, their behaviour is fascinating but to totally understand them would destroy that fascination.

In reply to jdh90:

> That happened to one of the lads on scout camp when I was a teenager. Right on the helmet. He didn't seem to be enjoying it.

> Another had a hornet land on his arse but managed to assassinate it with a mallet without being stung.

Perhaps the first lad should have used the mallet technique...

Post edited at 12:27

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