Wasps Nest

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newshound wrote:

What is the effect of a wasp nest on the ventilation, and on fire risk, in this particular building, I wonder. It might be as well to check with the house insurer before deciding to leave the wasp nest in place.
A L P
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We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold. I remember "newshound"

Indeed. A veterinarian friend of mine has been so stung over the years she is in real danger if she gets stung again and makes sure anyone in her company know what to do. Mind you, it makes working out in the fields a bit of a problem, but hey ho.

Quite so. I have a nest of bees about ten feet above head height as I leave my building - can't get rid, no matter how many attempts. I've just got used to them and leave them alone, but the buggers are probably gnawing away at the timbers. If they'd leave me alone it'd be fine, but any time I want to drill the wall or just get up a ladder in their vicinity, they get rather aggressive. That's when I get all on their arse back.
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> If they'd leave me alone it'd be fine, but

A few years ago I was up a ladder re-pointing round a wasp entry hole. The first hour was scary, but then they saw the benefits of using my chisel as a landing stage. By the end of the day we were just ignoring each other and going about our business.
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Stuart Noble wrote:

Unlike a bee which stings once and then the poison sac and the sting itself are torn from its body and it dies, a wasp can sting over and over and over. This is unpleasant in the extreme and can be life-threatening, not just for those with allergic response but anyone who inadvertently disturbs a wasp nest and is attacked by a great many furious wasps.
Another thing that should concern anyone interested in home gardens and the agricultural and horticultural industries is that wasps present a very real threat to bee hives. Without bees, pollination of most common crops is extremely poor. Wasps steal honey. Bees have to spend time defending the entrance to the hive instead of gathering nectar while at the same time their stocks are being stolen and their numbers reduced in the attacks. Eventually a hive is so weakened that it cannot survive through winter, let alone be in a condition to quickly build up to increasing the swarm to the point where it can be divided to make another hive with a young queen.
From the point of view of the individual town householder wasps may not be a problem, not in first year or two anyway. Taking a wider view, they have a significant ill effect and personal short-term convenience is not clever.
A L P
A L P
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A _L_ P wrote:

Do wasps have any good points/uses?
--
Dave - The Medway Handyman
www.medwayhandyman.co.uk
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Yes, they kill/eat most of the harmful garden insects. Wasps are also pollinators of many plants.
I would never normally get rid of a wasps nest. I've done it only a couple of times - once where a nest was a nuisance to a neighbour who is allergic to stings, and another time when they built one over my parents back door. We watched it with much interest for months as it grew, but it started dropping lots of half-dead wasps out which the cat had to step across to get in/out of the cat flap, and at that point it had to go.
--
Andrew Gabriel
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writes:

Mary must be on holiday!
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I thought of Mary Fisher as I was writing that.
Her last post looks to have been 14th December to alt.support.cancer.breast which is perhaps not a promising sign.
There are a few posts from just Mary (different email address) this year which might be same person, but nothing since April.
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On 11 Jul, snipped-for-privacy@cucumber.demon.co.uk (Andrew Gabriel) wrote:

She's posted in the last week to a mailing list I subscribe to.
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That's good to know.
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Andrew Gabriel
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On 11 Jul, snipped-for-privacy@cucumber.demon.co.uk (Andrew Gabriel) wrote:

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Andrew Gabriel wrote:

I've never heard of or observed this here (New Zealand) but they are an introduced species here so may not have the natural niche that they do elsewhere. Likewise with this:

A L P
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The Medway Handyman wrote:

help to clear up little corpses. Can't remember any report anywhere, ever, of a place where people were bemoaning the lack of wasps because _____ had got out of control through lack of predation by wasps ( for instance) :-) I should google it some time.
A L P
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A _L_ P wrote:

Wasps are only a problem for beekeepers in late summer when their normal food sources are disappearing. Robbing is minimised by reducing the hive entrance size so it's easier for the bees to defend. Strong colonies are barely affected (indeed the beekeeper removes far more honey over the season that wasps could ever do). Weak colonies are robbed just as much by bees from stronger hives, and as the colony is probably weak through varroa-mite infestation it may be no bad thing if it does die out.

It is the *old* queen that goes off with a swarm to found a new colony, leaving behind an unhatched queen cell in the original hive.
--
Reentrant (a beekeeper)



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Once you've solved this problem, it's worth thinking about whether the air-brick is blocked. I had a nest behind one air brick a while ago, treated with foam and though nothing of it. Then the boiler man came for the annual service a few years later and took a look at ventilation etc - It turned out this was the way in for the boiler air (odd system but then it's hot air, not a normal setup) and it was comprehensively sealed, buggering the balance of the boiler. It didn't take me long to fix it (cut the brick out, cleared the nest and mortared a new one in) but it could have been pretty dangerous.
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