17 June 2009

orf wiv 'is 'ed!

The movement caught my eye.  A small buzzzy ball spinning this way and that outside the office across the ground.  A wasp, hunting, had pounced on a fly.  The fly did it's best to escape - it took a long minute for the wasp to get a good hold but finally firmly clasped the fly was carried to a horehound leaf where the end was brutal but quick.  

A few deft chews and the fly was neatly decapitated.

Wasps raise their young on a meaty diet and are efficient predators of other insects.  They feed on a wide range of crop pests, particularly caterpillars, and are an integral part of a natural balance in the garden and I do not kill them. 

Small insects are carried back to the nest whole but large insects are butchered in situ and flown back in pieces (so are prawns at a cockle stall). In early and mid-summer they are busy hunting to keep up with the demands of their brood and are too busy to be chasing after sweet things.  It is later in the summer when the larvae have grown that, unnoccupied, they become a nuisance.  Then they seek out sugary things like coke, jam and over-ripe plums - sweet, exciting, slightly fermented and intoxicating.  Then bored and drunk and bad tempered they will be out and about with stinging to be done.  

Only if they come after me then shall I kill them.  

Maybe I will chew their heads off.  

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