Last week I got stung by a wasp for the first time in about a decade. The previous stinging occurred while I was hiking in the woods in Squamish with my boyfriend’s puppy Shadow in my arms; I inadvertently stepped on a wasp nest hidden in a dead log and they swarmed my leg and stung me a ton on my thigh and bum while I tried to run away with no free hands and not fall… pretty tricky. And ouch!
This stinging was just a single blip on my wrist, and I don’t know if I’ve been desensitized by all the tattooing or what, but it wasn’t that bad. I almost didn’t even understand what was happening until I saw the wasps and realized I had yet again disturbed a ground nest while bone-hunting with some friends.
I’ve been pretty conscious of living in harmony with insects in the yard – we house mason bees and have planted a ton of bee-friendly flowers for our neighbour’s hive and other pollinators (wasps and hornets included) to feed on. I don’t even squish spiders anymore after a lifetime of arachnophobia for goodness sake, I’ve been really good. I had even left the small wasp nest above the door to the chicken coop alone. After the reminder of how crappy it is to be swarmed by angry wasps, however, I decided to take it down before it got any bigger.
Because it’s so pretty I kept it, putting it into a glass jar I got from GIRO for $2. It had larvae in it but I assumed being in a jar with no air source they wouldn’t hatch. I WAS WRONG. They are all hatching!!! Now I feel really bad… so do I let them hatch then starve to death in the jar, or do I release the young wasps outside where they will probably not have the skills to survive? Seems pretty harsh both ways, but I’m not really prepared to just relocate the nest outdoors because the adults have all gone away anyways so the result would probably be the same. And I DIDN’T want a wasp nest in my yard, that was the whole thing to start with! I guess all the little larvae are just doomed and I’m a big jerk. Baby wasps are pretty cute though, washing their feelers and legs. If they weren’t such angry little things it would be different I guess.