Baking Bank Holiday…..

For a change the bank holiday weekend weather has been glorious; are the pundits saying the hottest on record? We really enjoyed it with our son and his wife down for the holiday. Meals taken in the garden (well away from the wasps in the “Discovery ” apple tree!) local festival, at which I exhibited on the Saturday, and nearby village show. There we came away with a couple of prizes in the cookery section and a bottle of rum from the “tombola” – can’t be bad.

I doubt we are going to see any of the apples ripen enough to eat from the tree as, between them, the birds and the wasps have nearly decimated a very heavy crop. The whole garden is permeated with the smell of fermenting apples. Well, it least it keeps the wasps out of the house. I did rescue a few almost ripe apples and made a “tarte au tatin ” for the weekend. A treat as we try not to eat too many sugary desserts.

I cannot remember having so many wasps so close to the house before. If I go into the veg patch I can hear them ” grinding their teeth” on some old wooden posts when they are collecting nest material. An extraordinarily loud noise for such a tiny creature. We have spotted one large papery nest actually in the hen house. The wasps slipping in and out through a gap between the walls and roof, but the activity here seems to be next to nothing this last week. They are all in the apple tree getting drunk! I think the colony is probably breaking down for winter.

Vespula vulgaris is a eusocial vespid that builds its grey paper nest in or on a structure capable of supporting it. A founding queen searches for a hollow tree, wall cavity, rock crevice, or even a mammal-made hole to build a nest. One colony cycle lasts for about 6–11 months and each colony cycle consists of around 3000–8000 larvae. (Wikipedia where there is masses of information if you are interested).

Thanks for dropping by……. must clear up a bit after our lazy weekend.

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