Although we stopped milking cows, (we still raise beef cows)
and we stopped using horses, (we use four-wheelers now)
and we stopped raising pigs (the price of baby pigs is too much).
We still have life in the old barn.
These little bugs are a pain.
They are helpful…they prey upon lots of garden pests, they feed their young on lots of invertebrates which cause damage to plants and flowers such as aphids and caterpillars, and they pollinate flowers.
It’s good to leave them alone so as not to disturb the natural control of pests and reduce the need for insecticide.
But they ruin your work, they get into your hair and face and, of course, they sting.
As annoying as they are, wasps are very beneficial and interesting insects, with a highly developed social structure. Wasps work really hard during their short lives and maybe deserve a break from their status as the creature we most like to eliminate.
Generally you are unlikely to get a wasp sting until autumn, unless you accidentally put your hand or foot on one and they are defending themselves, or unless you disturb a wasps nest. (Which could be anytime you come near one).
Up until late July and early August they are busy bringing up and feeding larval wasps, chasing insects, and foraging for food and maintenance materials for the wasps nest. After that their job is mainly done and they gorge themselves on the food they collect, especially on ripe and fermenting fruit; they become more and more dependent on sweet foodstuffs like these and will aggressively seek it out.
Additionally it will be getting hot and very crowded in the nest. It is at this time when they are most likely to sting humans, partly due to bad tempers caused by the heat and overcrowding in the nest, and partly in a semi-drunken reaction to being obstructed in their quest for sweet food.
I thought about going and on and on about these beneficial pests but I’ll stop here.
The old walls of the barn were full of these tiny creatures, it was rather disturbing to them and us (stings are not fun) but the walls had to come down and they had to move on.
I’m sure they were able to find a new house to rent close by!