The written part on this page is pretty much the same as the post on WASP ARCHITECTURE, except for the bit at the end. But as this is the visual – and as such more important location – you will find more images of wasps’ nests here, particularly of details.
Clicking on an image will open it in a new window on black background where on the bottom right you see a dialogue box (is that what it’s called?) “View full size”. Opening a new window with that will allow you to use the usual keyboard shortcuts “Ctrl +” and “Ctrl -” or “Ctrl 0” for zooming in and out or fitting the image to the screen respectively. It can be a helpful addition to viewing detail.
The idea of using paper from wasps’ nests as the main material for some work occurred to me a few years ago after I glued a bit of it into a collage.
Then last summer while picking up pieces of shattered wind screen in the yard following a scrap metal collection the thought of a possible combination of these seemingly unforgiving materials began to form.
– Wasp paper with compound pieces of safety glass…
It was obvious seeing the glass lying there that it had to be placed on black to make the cracks visually effective – everything else followed.
I used boards to make three “pictures”, inevitably in relief due to the materials, their arrangement and necessary build up which are shown here first, followed by some of their details:
Though I made three panels, or pictures, while making the second one the obvious already announced itself: an actual wasps’ nest with windows was needed !
Naturally it would have been nice to get the wasps involved with the construction but knowing insects, free will is an even bigger issue than with people…
I had to be satisfied with their supplying the paper – amazing stuff.
I can’t blame the wasps then for the uneconomical shape of the first habitation, no.4. It more or less grew along the supporting branch, somewhat rambling and incongruous.
The other two are more in keeping with what wasps would come up with – if they did – I imagine…
I used the paper from two separate wasps’ nests for these little sculptures where in one location one or more individual insects in the colony sourced the wood fiber for the paper pulp from the red painted wooden boards on a garden shed a few steps away. Thus the red streaks through the material.
And here, as an after thought, Appendices A to E, five more panels made to accompany the nests and earlier panels to the Mountshannon Arts Festival 2018 ( https://www.mountshannonarts.net/ ) in Co.Clare:
Now to conclude this, I’m very curious about one thing:
with the two dry and warm summers Ireland experienced in 2013/14 it looked towards the middle of the 2014 season as if we could expect a massive ( remembering the signs I’m tempted to say exponential!) increase in the wasp population by the end of the year. The numbers of hibernating queens the previous winter and much more frequently encountered wasps’ nests quite early in the summer pointed to that. Then somewhere around mid July they all of a sudden disappeared.
I can’t recall a single wasp, literally, while picking berries, none on the plums or the early apples, not a sign of life around any wasps’ nests. NOTHING.
What happened – or where did they go? Please let me know through the contact page.
Hi Peter , love your work above , can”t say I have noticed a drop in numbers of wasps although Willowherb stands seemed to have more than their fair share .
i had wasps in 2013, the following year they increased noticed there were 2 nests in my garden and i was concerned that the amount of wasps in 2015 would increase and cause some difficulty as one of the nests was beside the compost heap, frequently visited area of garden . that year wasps persisted until october . then in 2015, we had none.
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Unfortunately a lot of beekeepers hate wasps. Towards the end of summer wasps can congregate around around bee hives. Traps are put in place and huge numbers are killed to protect the hives. It could also be the spraying of pesticides. In general people really hate wasps so im glad you are doing this work.