Odd Thoughts: Good deeds don’t trump evil

Nasty behaviour by pests is unwelcome.

Wasps are terrible creatures.

They have stingers in their butts, and when angry – seemingly a common emotional state for them – they can deliver a lot of pain without any thought for the victims of their wrath.

They aren’t intentionally evil. They’re just being what they are. They are entirely the product of their upbringing and are incapable of changing, even after they leave the nest.

I think that’s why they were named after WASPs.

Wasps tend to act as though they are a superior species. They come uninvited to your outdoor parties and threaten you with their violence. Striking back only makes them angrier.

Some people will make excuses for the wasps: if only you leave the wasps alone, they will leave you alone. Truth is, I used to say that myself.

Sure, there are many fine wasps out there, on many sides.

Some wasps are useful in agriculture, for instance. They can pollinate flowers in much the same way that bees do, for instance.

Some wasp species have gained positive notoriety by predating on serious garden pests, like the whiteflies that can devastate greenhouse crops if left unchecked. Such wasps are imported in droves and become productive and beneficial members of the agricultural community.

Even the yellow jackets and hornets that have been known to attack common, decent people without provocation can be good.

Just today, I witnessed a yellow jacket grab an apple maggot fly off an apple and fly away with it. I can assure you, they weren’t leaving for a party together.

Earlier, among pole beans, I saw a snail being eaten by a hornet (the big, ominously dark wasps with the white bull’s eye stripes around the place where they keep their pain).

While I appreciate both were doing me favours, albeit inadvertently, their good deeds were trumped by their generally nasty behaviour that is not welcome in my neighbourhood.

So unwelcome are they that I recently condemned an entire nest of hornets that was attempting to assert dominance over the chestnut tree outside my back door.

My condemnation was without equivocation, and the imminent threat was removed.

Their good deeds in my garden a few days later didn’t fool me into pretending there are good ones mixed in with the bad. I’m watching to see where their new nest is growing.

And I am ready to take action.

Without equivocation.

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