why do wasps sting you for no reason
Wasps aren't angry, they're disoriented
Why do wasps sting innocent people? Are they taking revenge on the whole human race? Apart from those who step on a wasps' nest, most people are stung in late summer. This is when the normal social structure of the wasp colony is breaking down. Here the annual cycle changes from raising worker wasps to raising fertile queens, which will hibernate over the winter to start new colonies the following spring. When queen cells are laid, the hormone that maintains colony cohesion is no longer produced. The worker wasps are disorientated and go searching for sweet foods that can often include soft drinks or jam в which puts them directly in people's way. These late summer, disoriented worker wasps are the ones that sting. Lewis Moncrieff, Newcastle upon Tyne A wasp knows when someone is out to kill him: he suffers flapping hands, folded newspapers, fly swats, fly spray, and worse в can you blame him for getting cross? If you're the last one in the chain of humans trying to annihilate him, of course he's going to sting you. Let him be. He will sit quietly on your hand washing his whiskers, then fly off in search of a jam sandwich. Joan Parry, Brading, Isle of Wight No human living in an advanced, all-consuming, industrial society is innocent. We are polluting the environment, exterminating other species, and changing the climate. Wasps live simple, sustainable lives in complex societies, and build amazing wood-pulp homes. There is no more pathetic sight than a fully grown human, terrified of a little sting, flapping and waving at a tiny wasp. Steve Tompkins, Matlock, Derbys Wasps only sting people they deem to be an imminent threat. They do not fly into your face and hair the way bees do. They are quite gentle if not roused by deliberate or clumsy interference. They are carnivores and kill a lot of pests, but unfortunately have a sweet tooth.
I am often asked to destroy wasp nests. My first response is to point out that the nests are not permanent, but are vacated for good in the autumn. It is best to simply leave them alone. Colin Purdom, Shotesham St Mary, Norfolk Wasps are barely aware of humans unless threatened. As far as she is concerned, you started it. Stephen Pardy, London SE11 One summer, wasps built a nest on the ceiling of our garden tool shed. It was so big it eventually fell to the floor. Some wasps rebuilt the ceiling nest; others rebuilt the remains on the floor; and a few entrepreneurs created a new nest from fragments near the compost bin. When we used the shed we shouted and let a cloud of wasps fly out before we went in. None of us was stung, not even the dog. Leila Roberts, Ripon, N Yorks When my brother was a small boy, 60 years ago, he and his friends used to entertain themselves by poking a stick into a wasps' nest, then running like blazes. It was always the slowest lad at the back who got stung, sometimes quite badly. Obviously it's an evolutionary mechanism to increase running speed in humans. Barry Hughes, Edinburgh The twisted logic of railway-speak Why is railway-speak (eg "arriving into Banbury", "adjacent to the doors", "disembarking the train") so different from normal English? Mock not, Charlotte Green (N Q, 12 August). St Pancreas is only just down the road from Eustachian. Henry Malt, Huntingdon, Cambs On a RELATED matter, why did THE announcer who recorded THE security announcement that IS played every few minutes ON Victoria Station do so stressing all the least IMPORTANT words IN the announcement? Rachel Papworth, Brighton Railway-speak in Australia is rather more to the point than the examples you've quoted in Britain. Signs on Brisbane's railways couldn't clearer. Accompanied by a skull and crossbones diagram, they warn: "Don't say you didn't know.
Stay off the tracks or i) cop a $150 fine ii) get seriously hurt iii) die. So don't say you didn't know. " Tony Brett Young, Sutton, Surrey Some of the new phrases seem to have a grounding in sense. For instance, "station stop" ("Your next station stop is Liverpool Street") makes for a meaningful distinction from "sudden middle-of-nowhere-for-no-discernible-bleeding-reason-whatever stop". Ian Shuttleworth, London N17 Edgy comedy Is a "head for heights" psychological or physiological? Most people who claim to have no head for heights are quite happy to cruise at 30,000ft in a jet plane. What they are really afraid of is edges в of falling. As the American comedian, Steven Wright, puts it, "Some people are afraid of heights. Not me. I'm afraid of widths. " Steven Burkeman, York Any answers? Has anyone who has been on Desert Island Discs ever not selected a piece of classical music? Why is Dutch techno so underrepresented on the programme? Duncan Barrack, Awsworth, Notts Does anyone nowadays admire Paradise Lost? If so, on what grounds? David Bradnack, Aylesbury, Bucks How many cars would I have to zap with my car door opener to find another one that it would work on? Or is every single car door zapper different? Allen Bollands, Melbourne, Australia Email questions and answers to nq@theguardian. com Please include address and phone number. I don't tend to get stung by wasps or bees, only been stung once when I was a kid, I swatted it away from my ice cream and it stung me for it. Mrs Fizix however is a magnet to wasp stings, she swears she does nothing to annoy them but she does, if a wasp is within 10 feet of her she screams like a baby and runs around waving her arms and then wonders why it stung her ass, at a complete loss as to why it attacked her. I'm pretty convinced that its people's tendency to freak out at them that does it.
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