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Wasp Nest In The Badger Bushcraft Workshop

I have a genuine love of all creatures and always marvel at the miracles of life and the natural world per se and it always pains me to disturb any creature that is going about its business, sadly I had to disturb a queen wasp as she was building her nest this afternoon.

My day had started early by being awoken from my slumber by the calls of the first cuckoo I have heard this year that sat perched in the copse of oak and ash near my home. After catching up with some paperwork and the usual multiple cups of tea I packed some kit into the Land Rover and drove to our farm based site near our HQ in Kent.

Queen wasp building her nest

Setting up the parachute, unloading logs and generally gearing up for the weeks Badger Bushcraft Family Learning Days was a real pleasure on such a beautiful spring morning. I, of course, took Inca my black Labrador so she could have a run whilst I toiled in the fields and copse where we base some of our bushcraft courses. Inca had had a lovely time playing with the land owner’s “Staffy” whilst he and I shot the breeze and put the world to rights over a campfire coffee.

I had spied on Friday, whilst packing kit for a job in London, a queen wasp flying lazily around the workshop between rafters and the corrugated roofing material. I gently persuaded her out of the door and thought no more of it.

This afternoon, some 48 hours since the initial sighting of the lazy and, dare I say it, quite docile and obliging wasp queen I had to return to the workshop to sort out another batch of kit for an early start in the morning. Above the noise of my clattering around I could detect a faint buzzing that I could not quite seem to locate. After having a good look round I noticed the start of a small wasp nest right above the door.

Start of a wasp nest

I really don’t like to interfere with nature and try my best both as an individual and through company ethics to enhance our natural environment. It was with some reluctance I waited for the queen to leave the workshop and return to collecting wood pulp before I gently removed the start of the nest in the hope that she will look for another place to build her nest and start her colony.

Wasp eggs in the chambers

If the nest had been in any other position I would have been inclined to leave her about her business, as the newly established nest was above the door it was a little too risky to leave it there.

Queen wasp in her nest

Before I removed the nest I managed to get some nice pictures from a respectful distance of the queen working on the nest. There were already three chambers to the construction each with an egg in.

I am grateful that I caught this nest in the early stages of construction and there was still only the solitary queen there!

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"Thank you so much for the fantastic “Badger Bushcraft” day yesterday. All the children loved every moment of it, and were totally enthused by all the wonderful artefacts, tools and objects you provided for them."

Jane Voller, Teacher Egerton CP School
School Based Project July 2010

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