Anna33 Posts: 310
edited August 2021 in Wildlife gardening
I need some advice about wasps, please.
I have a huge bank of willow (it's the type of living willow that can be used as a fence/hedge type thingy), which desperately needs cutting back again, but it's smothered in wasps.
I've had a look as best I can, and as far as I can see there is no wasps nest. However the amount of wasps that are on the willow would suggest otherwise, and the little buggers have been stripping my garden furniture for their nests. I have been trying to follow where the wasps fly off to after they've got what they want from my table & chairs, but they seem to fly in all directions - one went back to the willow, another flew off and out of the garden, so not very helpful.
Anyway, my theory on why they are there is because there are aphids on the willow, so they are either eating the aphids or drinking the honeydew from them. But... there are so many wasps!!! The willow is alive with them. They seem to crawl up the leaves, fly out, and start again, and they fight with each other and knock each other to the ground.
I'm wondering what the likelihood of there being a wasps nest is, as research seems to suggest they are more likely to nest in cavities/holes etc rather than out in the open like this.
If they are just after the aphids, then when can I reasonably expect the wasps to start disappearing?
And finally, would I enrage them if I started chopping back the overgrown willow if I was feeling brave enough???
Pic for info:
Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.
I have two nests in the garden just now - one in a raised bed and one in the purpose built bee house [typical!] and I was having to work on replacing part of my back fence which was between both of them. Fortunately, I'm not bothered by them, but it could have been a problem if I was allergic to stings etc.
I enjoy watching them drink at the pond, and they're very keen on the fennel flowers just now. Vital pollinators.
I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...