Cowart's Common Room
Pic of the Day?

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Never done a picture of the day before and apologies if I am usurping a volunteer without consulting WW, but here is a picture of a wasp's nest under construction on the roof of our shed.

Such intricate work and you can see the little cells inside. The question is how does the wasp (it's just the Queen - a solo effort) know how to do this? - and she only gets one go. Somehow this knowledge is hard-wired into her DNA. By what mechanism could this be achieved? How can proteins govern a behaviour pattern? I am fascinated when I think of how much behaviour seems to be hard-wired (as opposed to be acquired) into our DNA. The wasp's nest (singular as there are no wasps - plural - yet - just as I have said only the Queen) is made from paper produced in the Queen's mouth from chewed and spat out wood - another piece of Nature's wonder.

Posted at 13th May 2010 - 09:16AM   Posted by Fennie   Pic of the Day? Comments: 10

Westerwitch's Avatar Wasps nests are pretty amazing aren't they . . . thank you for the picture. Camilla did one before the Good Morning post so good to have one a bit later - lovely to see the Common Room brightened up with so many pictures.

Posted by: Westerwitch on 13th May 2010 at 09:23AM

Preseli Mags's Avatar I was going to say that it looks man-made, but I think that's an insult to the wasp! Astonishing structures. (But I still don't like wasps Twisted Evil).

Posted by: Preseli Mags on 13th May 2010 at 09:30AM

Amazing indeed. So intricate. So light, yet to strong.

But do you want wasps in your shed? We've had them under our front steps, above our back door, and in two different trees in our back yard. And yes, I've been stung a number of times not a thrilling experience. Blink What was even more worrisome was the possibility of the grandchildren being stung while playing in the back yard, or friends stung when they came to the door.

Posted by: Rob-bear on 13th May 2010 at 09:44AM

Arosebyanyothername's Avatar Wasps always remind me of of sentence out of "A Child's Christmas in Wales' by Dylan Thomas. He received a book as a present which told him 'all you wanted to know about the wasp, except why'.

Posted by: Arosebyanyothername on 13th May 2010 at 10:45AM

Fairy Nuff's Avatar Whilst I can appreciate their architectural skills especially the 20 year old nest that has been added to every year in the eaves of our attic just too far into the corner to get at so we can't get rid of it or its scent so it keeps on attracting more wasps every year so they keep making their entrance just above our livingroom door so we can't open it all summer so we either cook on a summers evening or spend all night shooing wasps out of the door or hoovering them up when we get fed up chasing them...
...I could really live quite happily without them thanksSad

Posted by: Fairy Nuff on 13th May 2010 at 11:26AM

Fennie's Avatar Now according to Wikipedia it says that wasps only use a nest once. I was surprised to read this. Maybe there are different species, some of which return to their nests.

Posted by: Fennie on 13th May 2010 at 11:56AM

Fairy Nuff's Avatar Our pest removal guy said if you don't get rid of all the nest when removing wasps they will keep hanging around the area and build again...hence our problem.
There are several species of wasp mind you so maybe that is the difference.

Posted by: Fairy Nuff on 13th May 2010 at 12:38PM

Dancing Dog's Avatar Makes me want to run screaming out of the house! Fairy Nuff, I'd consider burning the place down and starting again. My Grandpa was frightened of wasps which led to a life-long horror of them.

We have hornets, I'm sure there are various species, but they build large nests attached to the house (not large in our case as I spray them) but we also have some that make nests in the ground, which is really scary, I'll see a small hole in the front lawn and hornets flying in and out. SadSad

Posted by: Dancing Dog on 13th May 2010 at 01:33PM

Blossomcottage's Avatar There was a huge wasps nest on the underside of the lid of the garden rubbish burner, it really was the most amazing thing I wish now I had not been such a wimp and taken some photographs before i destroyed it.

Posted by: Blossomcottage on 13th May 2010 at 06:19PM

Frances's Avatar Hello from New York, Fennie, where I cannot remember ever having an up close and personal viewing of the creation of a wasp nest.

I really liked the picture and questions that you posed. Why do any of us do anything, wasp, tulip, dog, cat, human. What is our free choice, what is our pre-determined destiny.

I think that many of the creations of non-human animals that presumably are carried forward to carry forward their species are beautiful. They are beautiful in physical beauty, in scientific design beauty, and probably in many other versions of beauty.

If a wasp created this beauty on my doorway (not in NYC ... it would never happen) would I think it beautiful. Beg off the answer.

Let me keep this question at another level. What is design perfection. Where has it always sprung from?

Long day, mind failing. xo

Posted by: Frances on 14th May 2010 at 02:09AM

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