Nope, Never: Excavating An Underground Wasp Nest

February 22, 2016


This is a video of Bob Brown excavating an invasive species of wasp nest in New Zealand. Amazingly, he's actually there to study the nest and not burn the shit out of it like any normal person would have done from a million miles away with a space laser.

This is a video of me an invasive German wasp (Vespula germanica) nest for my research on biological control wasps at Landcare Research in NZ. I'm not removing the nest to kill it. I need to keep the nest alive for my survey for parasites (like mites, fungus, etc.). Some nests will be re-housed into nest boxes for use in behaviour assays.

I have many years of experience and use specialized equipment to do this and still get the odd sting, so please don't try to dig an active nest yourself! As you can see from the copious amount of venom on the camera lens, these wasps meant business.

The video is kind of hard to watch if you're not into wasps. It might be hard to watch even if you are into wasps. But who's really into wasps? SPOILER: Nobody but Bob here, and he probably regrets a lot of his life choices. Everybody else hates wasps and wishes they never existed. A lot of people think the same thing about me. "Hey GW--" No, no -- it's true, you don't need to console me. "I was going to agree." You really are my sunshine, you know that?

Hit the jump for the video, but feel free to skip around because ten minutes of wasps going nuts.

Thanks to carey, who would have attacked that nest bare handed because she's immune to wasps. Or was it hornets?

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