Under Construction: Part One

All summer long Ms. Jeannie’s house has been under construction. A new addition (or wing) as Mr. Jeannie Ology likes to call it, is being added just off the second floor guest room.  Here’s a photograph of the work that is being done…

At home under the eaves.

At home under the eaves.

The workers have been hard at their project since early May. When Ms. Jeannie first noticed the activity, their scaffolding was the size of a golf ball. Now, it is the size of a 20lb. Thanksgiving turkey…

wasp 002

Ms. Jeannie thinks the architect on this crew was inspired by Frank Llyod Wright’s Guggenheim Museum in NYC …

Photo courtesy of guggenheim.org

Photo courtesy of guggenheim.org

Or the turban style head pieces seen often in India and the Middle East…

Photo courtesy of cacitches.com

Photo courtesy of cacitches.com

Alas, there are no hats to be worn on this job site! The construction crew at Ms. Jeannie’s have a style all their own.  These guys are bald faced hornets – tough little critters that are actually part of the wasp family.

Photo via pinterest

Photo of a bald faced hornet via pinterest

They build their nests out of strips of chewed up wood and saliva, which wraps (literally!) around the interior comb protecting the queen and her babies.  Up to 400 wasps can live in a nest this big – and from all the buzzing and commotion going on, in and around this nest, Ms. Jeannie is sure the structure is at capacity.

hornet

When the nest was about the size of a grapefruit, the pest company came out to look at it. They said because of the positioning – between the house and the gutter – that it wouldn’t get much bigger. Ha! It has doubled about five times since that day.  The pest company offered two solutions. They could come geared up in hazmat suits and “dust” the nest which may or may not get rid of them all or we could all just wait until Fall when the weather turns cold and they would abandon the nest themselves.

Ms. Jeannie liked option 2 the best. The nest is high up off the ground and bald faced hornets eat mosquitos and flys and caterpillar types in the garden. They only get troublesome if you bother them and since they are now residing in an out of the way area, Ms. Jeannie is not really concerned. Plus, she thinks it might be fun to see just how much bigger this nest could actually get and to see if she can take it down and inspect it more closely once all the wasps leave in Autumn.

So this is a TOO BE CONTINUED post. We’ll check back in a couple of months for our own private unveiling of the Guggenheim Georgia! in the meantime, if you’ve had any encounters with our construction crew in the past please share your comments!

10 thoughts on “Under Construction: Part One

  1. PLUS vacant wasp nests are very saleable…i get search hits for them on my Etsy shop all the time, though i don’t sell them. but i would certainly put it in the freezer for a long time before i sold it…

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  2. Who knew that Mr. Frank Lloyd Wright was an architectural plagiarist? Can architecture be plagiarized? I suppose we should just be kind and assume he was “inspired”. Looking forward to the Fall for an update. That thing is HUGE.

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    • Well funny you should say this my dear, because Mr. Jeannie Ology is a big devotee of Frank Lloyd Wright design, and as it turns out he did “borrow” quite a bit from Japanese building aesthetics, and of course, from nature. Still we can’t help but love him. Thanks for your thoughts – your messages always bring a smile!

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      • Good morning dear, that beautiful wound ribbon of a nest keeps popping into my head at odd times. Like on Monday when I was looking at hats and again last night watching a program which discussed the beak of the Toucan. This morning I remembered a book scooped up some years ago during a visit to Taliesin West. It’s called Loving Frank by Nancy Horan — a fictional tale of FLW & Mameh Borthwick Cheney, their highly unusual life together and it’s shocking denouement. Being a fellow reader, I thought you might enjoy it…if you haven’t already.

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      • Oh it is a lovely book! It was really interesting how it was told from her perspective. And even though its fiction – it reads like real-life.

        Another book along those sames lines is The Paris Wife – about Ernest Hemingway’s first wife Hadley and her relationship with him. Like Loving Frank – it is fiction based on fact. The writing is so beautiful and really gives you insight into what it might have been like to be so close to such an icon of a man.

        As for the nest – it still continues to grow and grow. Now it is kind of resembling an upside down whip-cream dollap! There is a permanent doorman who now stands guard at the entrance. He must be the site manager:)

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  3. WoW ! Ms Jeannie, what an amazing sight. I found a tiny abandoned wasps nest that I can fit into the palm of my hand and after a peek inside left me quite flabbergasted, I instantly thought of writing in the bible where Jesus(I think) says ‘In my fathers house there are many rooms.’ I’m not religious but was quite moved as that popped into my head. Isn’t nature wonderful?

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    • Oh that verse is so fitting Mary, from the wasps perspective, both literally and figuratively! Nature is astounding. Apparently, we don’t see a lot of these nests hanging around in trees or on buildings once the bees have vacated because they are most often destroyed by birds looking for bugs. While the nests are strong enough to fulfill the duties of the wasps they are, in reality, quite fragile, so it will be quite a sight to see one whole and intact up close. A marvel n the making! Thanks so much for your thoughts!

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  4. Pingback: Summer’s Cast of Characters | msjeannieology

  5. Pingback: Hornet House Tour: The Inside Architecture of A Nest Revealed! | msjeannieology

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