Some welcome guests – and one not so welcome!

Finally! After turning the wee tap on at the base of my wormery on a weekly basis for what seems like forever, the appearance of 1/2 pint of liquid feed took me by surprise! What with the salad season and extra mouths to feed, the amount of veggie waste has increased, giving the wormy guys extra work and now my plants can indulge in the yummy cocktail which I’ve been promising them for months! The cocktail however, had a small,  intriguing population of energetic dancers on the surface…

So, friend or foe? After looking at them under a magnifier to get a clearer view of their physiology and searching the Web for Compost Invertebrates, their identity was revealed…

“Springtails: Springtails are extremely numerous in compost. They are very small wingless insects and can be distinguished by their ability to jump when disturbed. They run in and around the particles in the compost and have a small spring-like structure under the belly that catapults them into the air when the spring catch is triggered. They chew on decomposing plants, pollen, grains, and fungi. They also eat nematodes and droppings of other arthropods and then meticulously clean themselves after feeding.”

Friend then. After filtering them out of the liquid it was back to the wormery where they are welcome to eat and spring to their hearts’ content!

In the conservatory however, there’s an unwelcome guest who’s decided to take up residence. A wasp.

There were the beginnings of another nest near this one but was possibly abandoned because it was too near the door when it was closed, so couldn’t be made any bigger.

I think that maybe the second nest had also been abandoned, or perhaps the queen has come to grief, as I’ve been keeping an eye out for any further activity but there’s been none. That’s kind of good really, as I didn’t feel too bad when Kevin removed this delicate, perfect structure. There were four cells in it.


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