Credit: Sascha Burkard/ The sausages are sizzling, the burgers browned, and the beer is cold. You’re all set for the perfect end-of-summer BBQ. Alfresco dining, drinks in a garden of a country pub, ice-creams—we grasp at the last shreds of summer, precious times with loved ones before an uncertain winter of local lockdowns and Zoom. And then an unwanted visitor arrives. Jazzily dressed, trim-waisted, your uninvited guest is brimming with confidence. She’s carefree and cocky—anyone’s sweet drink is hers for the taking. If you stand in her way or brush her aside, you’ll find she’s got a nasty surprise in her stripy derriere. As the end of the summer approaches, so does wasp season, when these hated insects start to bother us at our picnics and beer gardens. It happens every year, without fail, and feels especially rude at a time when we’re counting the few days we have left for outdoor, coronavirus-friendly socialising. There are no silver linings to a pandemic-gripped world. But one thing it has perhaps given us is a word to explain the late-summer antisocial behaviour of wasps : furlough. And as someone who spends their time researching wasps , a word to excuse their […]


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