Grassland Bycatch

Bycatch is all that stuff in the sea that deserves its own life, is caught when fishers are trying to snag something or other, and is thrown back overboard dead. It’s a global problem. Here’s our grassland version:

That’s a wasp trap. It’s got about 6 centimetres of wasp carcasses in its holding tank, on the edge of a vineyard. The prey is yellow jackets and invasive wasps. Trouble is, yellow jackets are vital predators in organic farming systems, there are dozens of other wasps live in the remnants of the grasslands, doing the same good work and pollinating the surrounding farms, including this vineyard. Everybody goes into the trap. No-one comes out. I sure hope that’s not why this one, the blue mud dauber…

… wasn’t around to stuff plump, paralyzed black widows in with its eggs last summer.

At any rate, there were few wasps, no blue mud daubers, and a huge increase in black widows, one which paralyzed my leg. I want my wasps back!

Yes, I sure do.

The wasps are life. The vineyard is just producing drugs. Let’s stop this bycatch. None of these wasps hurt people, and as any gardener around here knows, if you pick the grapes in the morning, when it’s cold, the wasps just fall off the clusters at your touch, like hail, and even crawl over your hands, chilled, and not stinging one bit.

A wasp eating predatory insects beats poisoning our apricot orchards.

Just saying.

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