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I hope that this is an acceptable subject to post here, and based on it's inherent silliness, offers perhaps a little entertainment on a cold autumn day (here, at least).

I found the cat badgering a wasp that was trapped in one of our lower level windows yesterday morning, so I thought it might be a good time to dust off and prep our old 'Wasp-a-torium' for some buzzy little over-winter guests this year.

I shoo'd the cat away from the bugger before he could get stung, caught the wasp (I'll call her, 'Vespa') in a drinking glass, and set it near the kitchen window, gave it a drop of water, a tiny piece of apple, and a drop of honey while we went about digging the Wasp-a-torium' out of a closet and setting it up for up to a half dozen of the little guys, which we should be able to 'invite' in for the winter as they warm up in the next several days and start to sluggishly fly around the house and garage.

Some might live long enough to be released in the late spring, but they're not really designed for over-winter longevity unless they're a queen, though we've had them last that long before, and it's a free ride with warmth and food, so what's not to like for them?

These are very common Polistes Paper Wasps, and aren't particularly aggressive as long as they don't sense that you're a threat. They don't just automatically zap you, they need a reason. I don't negatively react to their stings anyway, it just feels like someone put a hot match on my skin for a minute or so.

If they don't feel like just dying for the heck of it because summer's toast, they can enjoy a nice gig here, and chill out all winter in Uncle Johnny's Cootie Spa.

'Vespa' spent the night under a glass tumbler by the kitchen sink, but is now comfortably ensconced in it's little gothic-esque tower winter digs.
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⚠️ Last edited by JBacklund on UTC; edited 1 time
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UTC quote
That's very cool, and also kind of creepy. I don't think it would have ever occurred to me to keep wasps as pets (of a sort).
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jess wrote:
That's very cool, and also kind of creepy. I don't think it would have ever occurred to me to keep wasps as pets (of a sort).
Of course, they're lousy 'pets', but none the less interesting.

I've found them to be fascinating little creatures, and this species isn't bad to have around. They sit around their confinement and spend a lot of time preening themselves like tiny birds, after eating juicy things like apple pieces, they will quietly perch and a produce a drop of, I assume, apple fluid out of their mouth parts, hold it there for a bit, then suck it back in. They'll repeat doing this a number of times.

When they're in a sort of resting state, they'll twitch their front leg foot end up and down. I have no idea why they do these things, but they all seem to possess these same behaviors.

They're definitely in their own little world, and only react to one's presence unless you're very close, and/or make a sudden movement, then they might rise up on their six legs and spread their wings out a bit, which I assume is a threat response, but they will just as quickly calm down and go about their buggy business.
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What's wrong with your cats?
They haven't pushed it off the window sill already?
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znomit wrote:
What's wrong with your cats?
They haven't pushed it off the window sill already?
Funny you should mention that.

About an hour ago, the wasp escaped from the Wasp-a-torium while I was trying to take a photo of it. It flew about ten inches over to the nearby window I had placed it by, and I quickly re-captured it in the glass tumbler once again and placed it back on the kitchen window sill while I re-wasp-proofed it's new home.

Several minutes later, while I was preoccupied with sealing up any more wasp escape routes, I heard the distinctive sound of a glass tumbler crashing down into the kitchen sink, and a pair of cats scattering in panic.

To my relief, the glass somehow hadn't shattered, and the wasp was casually walking up the sides of the stainless steel sink, none the worse for the experience.

I herded the wasp back into the glass and returned it to the sill, wedging the tumbler solidly back into position using a wooden banana stand with four medium bananas on it for ballast.

After using strips of black electrical tape to stop up the, now obvious, place that little Vespa had found to make her getaway, I returned her to her apartment.

So far, so good.
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Big announcement!

There are now TWO wasps taking up residence in the Wasp-a-torium.

Photos to come.
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A perfect little set of wasp feeding bowls were found in one of Trixie's extra contact lens cases..water in one side, honey and apple bits in the other.

Make no mistake, we intend to provide Deee-luxe cootie accommodations for our little wintering guests here at the luxurious Vespa Hotel.
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You need to take this to sturgis. Along with a sign saying the wasps have been trained to dance when you play the accordian. You'll be rich.
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Matchlessman wrote:
You need to take this to sturgis. Along with a sign saying the wasps have been trained to dance when you play the accordian. You'll be rich.
I can just see it now!

'SCOOTERBOY BACKLUND AND HIS FABULOUS POLKA-DANCING VESPA-ETTES'
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Ever since one stung me in the bollocks I've wanted them all dead.

They are the Skin Heads of the Insect World.
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Bill Dog wrote:
Ever since one stung me in the bollocks I've wanted them all dead.

They are the Skin Heads of the Insect World.
Understandable, but it begs the question...

How did a wasp gain access to your bollocks?

If we're meaning the same anatomy, mine make for a tiny target(s), and are almost always well hidden away from vengeful flying insects.
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I was riding a GTS and one flew between and under my legs.

It's dead now.
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Bill Dog wrote:
I was riding a GTS and one flew between and under my legs.

It's dead now.
The wasp.....or the bollocks?

Asking for a friend.
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Bill Dog wrote:
I was riding a GTS and one flew between and under my legs.

It's dead now.
The wasp.....or the bollocks?

Asking for a friend.


I had one go into my jacket while riding down a highway one time, it got inside my shirt and zapped me three times in rapid succession as I headed for the shoulder, got out of my jacket and unbuttoned the shirt to get at the bastard, but I never found or saw it.
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You need to get a life. Kill those bastards on site.
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He's obviously not heard of the Author Iain Banks.

It's very disturbing. You, not the book.
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Outsider wrote:
You need to get a life. Kill those bastards on site.
Killing the bastards won't get me a life, just end theirs.

I gain nothing.

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Where's the problem ?

Kill them dead.

Kill them dead now.
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Bill Dog wrote:
He's obviously not heard of the Author Iain Banks.

It's very disturbing. You, not the book.
Oh, Bill, they're just a couple of little insects in a metal and glass enclosure in a living room thousands of miles from you.

You needn't concern yourself so.

Go for a ride (weather permitting of course), it can do wonders for one's outlook.

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JBacklund wrote:
Go for a ride (weather permitting of course), it can do wonders for one's outlook.
And please, put your Toreador Pants on.
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Yeah, unlike the wasps you captured, I can leave.
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Bill Dog wrote:
Yeah, unlike the wasps you captured, I can leave.
And yet, here you are

If you stay much longer, I'll set out a mini bowl of water, honey, and apple bits for you.

I am nothing if not accommodating, generous, and gracious to my guests, insect and otherwise.

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Bill Dog wrote:
He's obviously not heard of the Author Iain Banks.
Of course, we still love you even amidst your shortfall of gravitas
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The Wasp-a-torium needs a miniature Vespa.
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Jblacklund,

I have always felt you were unique, But this wasp thing is simply to far out there. I simply have never heard of anyone doing this. I spend every Spring killing them and knocking down their paper like nests that they attach to the house on my South side. I do enjoy bumble bees and humming birds that enjoy my flowers.

Vespa folks are different so, collecting bugs puts you following the script. Now, you have to keep us updated on wasp behavior. During the Winter, I feed squirrels and ducks and enjoy watching them and the way they behave. For example, ducks are use to landing gracefully in water. On landing out of water, they are anything but graceful. They bounce, fall over, tumble head over heels. They can frequently make a perfect wing braking perfect landing.

You are now officially a character.

Bob Copeland
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Sledge wrote:
The Wasp-a-torium needs a miniature Vespa.
Not my project, but a drop of honey on the handlebars or in the sidecar might make for some pretty awesome pics with the residents…
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Sledge wrote:
The Wasp-a-torium needs a miniature Vespa.
I need this for my die cast collection. Somehow, I don't have that one. 😞
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Now I ask you, isn't that just about the cutest little Vespa-Doodle face you've ever seen?

New 'Cootie' #3...
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JBacklund wrote:
Now I ask you, isn't that just about the cutest little Vespa-Doodle face you've ever seen?

New 'Cootie' #3...
I'm very glad we don't have your brand of wasps in the UK.
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I can't help but wonder what the secondmost oddest NSR topic is now.
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Juan_ORhea wrote:
I can't help but wonder what the secondmost oddest NSR topic is now.
Do you really want to go there?
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Matchlessman wrote:
I'm very glad we don't have your brand of wasps in the UK.
These little buggers aren't very aggressive, and are generally reluctant to sting unless you give them a reason.....which is unfortunately up to them to determine what a 'good reason' is.

This species isn't bad-ass crazy like yellow jackets and hornets can be....but I still don't go around poking at them with sharp sticks.
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Matchlessman wrote:
I'm very glad we don't have your brand of wasps in the UK.
I could be wrong, but I think that I recently read someplace that the European versions of this species are somewhat nastier than this one is.
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jess wrote:
Do you really want to go there?
We've had a few.

At least now my high-school era pet toad seems a bit more normal.

Your guys seem a bit sluggish. I hope whatever you're fueling them with is ethanol-free. Razz emoticon

My tolerance for the little fellas varies by species. I've learned the ones populating our eaves are pretty peaceful neighbors-I've painted to within a foot of their nests without being bothered, though I understand they actually learn to recognize people and are more chill if they get used to your presence.

"Yellow jackets," though annoying little shits, are tolerable.

Bald-faced hornets aggressive terrors, and its a "them or me" approach.

My closest encounter with a wasp was getting one in my FF while riding with the visor open. It's just a little unnerving having this critter crawling around near your eyes, particularly at 60 mph. I eventually pulled over and yanked the helmet off, bracing for the sting, and, not sure if he'd already escaped, but no wasp, no sting.
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Light Bulb Moment, You can kill this song "Love Buzz" by Nirvana, on you're guitar at the senior citizen's center later this month. ROFL emoticon
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Man, close up that looks one mean dude, Mike Tyson of the insect world😱, Excellent macro shot
JBacklund wrote:
Now I ask you, isn't that just about the cutest little Vespa-Doodle face you've ever seen?

New 'Cootie' #3...
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UTC quote
Its things like this that make this forum great, It breaks up the main topic Laughing emoticon
jess wrote:
Do you really want to go there?
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UTC quote
JBacklund wrote:
I could be wrong, but I think that I recently read someplace that the European versions of this species are somewhat nastier than this one is.
The wasps over here are in general also not aggressive, unless, as you say, you give them a reason. And occasionally that can happen unwantedly.

What you definitely should not do is messing with their nest, but I guess that will be the same with American wasps.
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UTC quote
JBacklund wrote:
Big announcement!

There are now TWO wasps taking up residence in the Wasp-a-torium.

Photos to come.
Where did the second wasp come from? You also did catch that one?

Another question: I see you seem to be from Black Hills Dakota. That seems to me to be quite to the north in the US. Do you still have wasps flying around this late in the season?
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