Yikes! I hate hate hate wasps. Spiders, snakes I’m fine with but I hate those stinging bastards. Picture at link below.
Officers were called out by worried neighbours of the empty home in the island’s capital and say the nest was in an indoor hallway and contained literally millions of wasps.
Experts have examined the nest, which is said to be 21’9” in length, and say the common type of wasp found in gardens would never normally build a nest of this size.
First thing that sprang into my mind was that I would hate to be a teen looking for a place to party/get laid and stumble into it in the dark. Fewer wasps can kill a person even if they are not allergic.
Does Spain or Europe just have very lax housing laws, or shitty children, and/or unfriendly neighbors, that would allow this kind of thing to be undiscovered for so long? :dubious: It looks like they’re also secretly dying elsewhere, too!
African, not africanized. Some species manage to hop over occasionally and build larger nests than our domestic species, but that sure is one damn big nest.
Anyway and despite some people trying to avoid that knowledge (starting with the inhabitants themselves), the Canary Islands are Africa, not Europe; it’s the reason which was given to give them, Ceuta and Melilla a “not quite EU” tax regime when we joined it (they pay exactly the same amount of taxes but the tax gets a different name).
The police actually had to try and locate the owner before they could go in, something which may have delayed things for some time. I expect they got a judge’s permission to go in once they saw that locating the owner was going to be difficult.
Abandoned or semiabandoned houses aren’t rare at all. In the town where I grew up, many people have a new house bought sometime in the 1970s plus the one in old town; this one will be used occasionally if at all. This is common in many towns which are lively enough to still be there (hey, we also have dozens of abandoned villages) but where there was never enough population pressure to tear those houses down. Back c. 1980, one of the things many teens did to get a “summer house” (a cool, large place where they could meet without their parents’ interference) was to pay for the stay doing necessary repairs or, in one memorable occasion in which my group got to help a friend’s little brother’s, by putting a bathroom in a house which had never had one. Hammering walls down is fun! Now imagine: that “double house” situation was before the housing bubble. A few months before it burst, that same town had enough housing for twice its population. Now there’s thousands of brand-new flats and townhouses which simply never got occupied, along with the old abandoned or semi-abandoned places.
Sometimes, people move into an old folks’ home and theirs falls into disrepair: the previous owners of my flat decided to sell it when they got an offer they couldn’t refuse to buy such a house whose upper floor was completely unhabitable at the time - you wouldn’t believe it to see the house now, it’s just gorgeous.* Okupas* (squatters), whether part of the sociopolitical movement which goes by that name, junkies or homeless “normal” people, have been grabbing abandoned houses for decades; about a month ago, I saw a documentary about the “squatting house market” in Madrid, people getting into empty flats owned by banks (thanks to the housing bubble) and selling the access to others who are homeless.
I’d just like to take this moment to engage in a bit of mammalian chauvinism and thank whatever gods happen to be listening for winter. I don’t know how many wasps can fit in a hive that big, but I know it’s a heckuva lot, and that there’s no deterrent quite like a subzero temperature to keep the more stingish life forms at bay.
Speaking of which, aren’t we overdue for another ice age?