Sunday, 21 July 2013

Do wasps eat anything?

Yes, apparently they eat midges.  (No, not Migs.)  I learned this from a man I found myself sharing a table with at a very long, very hot but very enjoyable garden party yesterday, over paella and fizzy liquid.  John was, he told us, a wasp expert in one of his several previous lives (you have to believe that, don’t you?), and explained at some length how they’ve had a bad press, because, well, because they eat midges.  Without wasps, we’d be midged to death.
Someone suggested that there are few wasps in the Western Isles, whereas there’s no shortage of them midges.  So what we need to do, I proposed, is reintroduce wasps to north-west Scotland, a bit like they did with red kites down here.  (Or nothing like they did with red kites down here, actually.)  Then they wouldn’t have to keep trying to eat us.  (The wasps, that is, not the red kites.  ‘They’ being the wasps, not the reintroducers. Or the midges.)
John had, understandably, no answer to that.  It was that kind of party.

Tomorrow, Dorset seagulls, I promise.


  1. If you have to ask that question, you've never been on a picnic, Tim. Wasps eat EVERYTHING!

  2. and wood, although wood is probably included in EVERYTHING but not always the sort of EVERYTHING taken on a picnic, so it might have been omitted. I believe that someone once told me they (wasps not picnic-ers) make nests with the wood they've chewed. So actually the probbly don't eat it as such, just bite and chew it. Does this count do you think?

  3. In Norfolk, midges are known as midgets. I'm not sure what midgets are called. Z, probably.

  4. Gosh! That "fizzy liquid" was bloody good! Can I have some, please/

  5. I think John was thinking more of their natural prey, rather than what they might resort to in desperation. I think. As you'll have gleaned, I wasn't convinced. But it was a very good party. Plenty of fizz.
    It can't be wood, can it? Why would you eat wood when there's picnics? And midgets.