A future classic... The classic car owners among us will know that the winter months are not as favourable as the warm, dry conditions that the summer has to offer. So at the end of last year many enthusiasts will have wrapped up their pride and joy, said goodnight, I'll see you in the spring! And tucked their classic motors up in the garage or the barn. Before the arrival of winter, this wasp sought refuge in my barn. All over the country, many others will have done the same. She is a queen wasp! She has this year's life suspended inside her and will soon be ready to fire up her engine and head out into the sunshine. She has carefully tucked her antennae and her wings under her body to protect them from damage. They are her most important running gear afterall. Continuous cold winters are suitable for hibernating queens as an interrupting warm spell can confuse them by making them think that spring has sprung, only to realise that it was winter's wicked game that will claim many victims. If my queen survives the cold, the spiders and the mice then she will untuck her wings and unfurl her antennae and head out into the light to start her new family. Wasps in general are given bad reviews but they are a species that deserves respect and recognition. I admire them for all they are and all they do. So the next time you see a queen buzzing by, remember the effort that she has gone to get there. Give her a patriotic wave and salute her. She certainly earns her stripes and our country just wouldn't be the same without her!
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