13 AUGUST 1927, Page 12


Nature is very perfectly balanced in England, and for myself I have a certain compunction in destroying even wasps. They are scavengers and mighty enemies of blight and flies. Doubtless they may be a plague, may leave our plums, or indeed apples, no more than empty husks, and quite spoil the pleasures of the breakfast table through their excessive fondness for marmalade or honey, and sugar. Once I knew of a field so full of nests that ploughing had to be abandoned till a day or two had been spent with the tar-barrel, from which is extracted the favourite country remedy. The wasp is not a warbler to be specially protected for the excellence of its ministrations ; but that a few nests in a garden are to be welcomed, not rejected, is at least a tenable proposition, even in a year so singularly free from blight as this.