Picture it: a beautiful and warm Sunday morning in September. The sun is shining. I brew myself a latte in my espresso maker and stroll out to my deck that overlooks my backyard. I sit down in a comfy chair with my coffee, ready to relax and enjoy the morning. Then a wasp appears, then another, and another. Are they attracted to my coffee? No way. Are they attracted to me? Maybe? They always find me – not just wasps, but all insects.
I can’t sit there with these invaders. I quickly get up, grab my coffee and run indoors. The wasps have won again. Every year, when we hit September, my backyard is overrun by wasps. Or at least, I think they are wasps. I will admit, I am by far not an expert. Some people may call these insects yellow jackets. I don’t think we have hornets, and I am quite sure that what I see in my backyard are not bees. Whatever they are, we don’t get along.
I am all for a balanced ecosystem, and I understand that insects, even the invasive wasp, must be respected. But why do they love my backyard so much? And my front yard? Okay, I know why they love my front yard. Some tree, which possibly lives on a neighbour’s yard, drops a sticky substance in September, and for sure that encourages the massive social gathering of wasps every morning on and around my car. The wasps seem to glue themselves to the windows of the car and hang on tight as I drive away each morning. They are stalking me.
Now let me be clear – it’s wasps that are my enemy. I don’t have a problem with bees, or at least, I don’t have a problem with honey bees. To be even more specific, I don’t have a problem with worker honey bees. Why? Well, I learned something very interesting this past weekend when I did some online research about the honey bee.
The worker bees in every honey bee colony are ALL female. These tough ladies will live for only about 6 weeks in the summer, and they NEVER sleep. That’s right. They work and work, all the time, until they die. The worker honey bee seems to represent the life of all working women, and I have the utmost respect for them.
Then there are spiders. As I type this, my daughter, knowing how I shake with fear at the sight of this arachnid, coincidentally just placed a rather large, very real-looking plastic spider on the table beside me. I contained my inner shriek, but I did flick that thing away very quickly.
I don’t like spiders. They capture and eat mosquitos (yet another insect on my “I don’t like” list) and I know they make incredible webs from the silk they produce. But they terrify me. The way they cling to the ceiling and run across the floor on those eight legs. It makes shiver just thinking about it.
Back to my backyard family of wasps. I don’t know where their hive is and I can’t get rid of them. I must have some sensor on me that informs the colony that Alicia has come outside and it’s time for the party to begin. It means no al fresco dining in September, minimal tending of my garden in September and definitely no morning coffee outside in September. If you have any suggestions about how to mitigate my problem, I would love to hear your ideas. Leave me a comment here, put a post on Facebook or Tweet me @AliciaRichler.