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I am not particularly a wasp fan..but they don't bother me particularly ( unlike my husband who is a sight to behold when a wasp comes within 50ft of him )...can you tell me what is their actual purpose in life?? as I truly do not know !! cheers !!
please can you tell me how i can stop them from consuming my wooden balcony thanks :-)
In answer to Margo's query, wasps are part of the great, big, biodiverse picture. Their "purpose in life" is the same as ours: to live, eat, reproduce and die :) Oh, and along the way, they do consume a number of creatures that are harmful to humans' crops!
margo, without wasps we would be plagued by flies and spiders which they feed to their young. Your husband should learn to stay calm(good for his blood pressure) as they only sting when feeling threatened. In the autumn, put out a jamjar with some jam in it and the workers and males will feed on this and leave him alone.


Wasps also pollinate flowers so are useful in that way. I didn't know they are carnivorous and eat aphids so, I will leave them alone in future.
I'm a fan of wasps and hornets although some friends recently were a little freaked out at my feeding them jam on my finger-tips so that they could enjoy their cream tea in peace! I was overjoyed when I saw a queen hornet chewing on a fence in the garden the other day as I'd feared I'd left them behind when I moved from Surrey. Wasps have a vital role to play - if you want pointless, what's Katy Price for?
many thanks everyone for the inforrmation, I genuinly didn't realise they were so helpful... Jane..I always believe everything has it's place in this world...sadly The Hubbie isn't quite so understanding (he is HIGHLY allergic to stings btw..hence the "anti-wasp dance") Happymarion ...nice idea re; the jam jar..but I think he would presume I'd been upping the life insurance policy(and he already has BP issues so too late on that one) Cheers everyone xxxx
My honeybees aren't so fond of them when they start raidng their hives for honey. They can sting many times but the poor bee dies with its first defensive sting.They are great catchers of other flying insects and on balance are beneficial ( and wear our county colours).
Heh! If they help control Aphids then I am definitly up for a visit from the wasps. New growth on my Roses have been visited already by green aphid. So far have conrolled them with a soapy water spray. I will leave the wasps be if they help out ;-) Cheers m
I always hated wasps until we were eating outside and watched one carefully bite off a piece of meat and fly away with it, then came back for more. This went on for some time and we were absolutely fascinated. We were not attacked by them at all while we sat quietly watching. So, don't flap - just watch!
Wasps !!! You should have seen what they did to my friends beehives last year...then you may not be such a great fan. Insects have a purpose in life and if the wasp population is good and that means it is good for other insects too then that is fine..but think we can do without wasps....and if you happen to to be allergic to their sting then I think we could possibly do without them.
Like Margo's husband I do everything to avoid wasps as they have put me in hospital twice with allergic reactions and I have to carry an epipen everywhere. As luck would have it I have had 3 wasps nests in my garden - last year in the kitchen roof which was scary. Last year I had bumble bees nesting in one of my bird boxes which the blue tits had vacated
Good to see the positive comments on wasps, I thought I might have stirred up a hornets' nest of disapproval with this blog. Sandymea's comment reminds me to offer one word of caution. Wasps do eat 'meat' and are regular visitors to carrion. I remember watching them hollow out a dead rat in a Forest Hill garden some years ago. So if you do let them nibble jam off of your fingers or watch them on your cream tea plate, remember not to eat the food they may have contaminated. Caroline, they will not demolish your balcony, just graze it lightly.
I'm allergic to wasp stings, but ok with bees. Any wasp coming in my greenhouse can expect a very short life at the end of my aerosol, but I do everything I can to help bees escape at the end of the day.


Hi I too am very allergic to wasps, last year was nearly MY last. I'm sorry to say that I do not encourage them to stay around and use wasp traps. I know they do good work but................!
We have wasps nests every year in the school garden. I tell the kids to leave them alone and only one person has ever been stung - me! A wasp got stuck down my welly. The effects of the sting lasted for over a month. However it is fascinating to see them taking all the caterpillars from our cabbages. Also their nests are in holes in the ground which I did not realise.
We have had a wasps' nest somewhere in the garden for the last 5 years or more. Last year they made one in our hedge and this year they appear to have made one in the stone wall of our shed, I spotted them going in and out of a small hole in the masonry. They've never bothered me, even when I cut the hedge last year. The sting can be painful for a while, but I find the nettles at the edge of our garden deliver a longer-lasting effect than that of a wasp sting.
As another beekeeper, my heart sinks when I see wasps around. They really do play havoc at the hive, killing bees and robbing the larvae and honey. I've set up several jam jar traps to thin them out again this year - oddly enough the traps kill plenty of wasps, but only the odd bee. Bees must be a bit quicker on the uptake!
Wasps don't just eat 'meat' they are cannibals. When a wasp tried to drink my Cider while I was sitting in the garden that was just too much. I drowned it with a water spray and it stayed down. A few minutes later several of its 'chums' were investigating the body. Withing an hour there was barely anything left, so whoever called them dustbins was indeed correct.