Friday, 30 September 2011

The American Who Challenged the Hornet’s Nest

In Segur le Chateau we like to eat local where possible and grow our own food. As well as foraging in the woods, many of Segur’s residents keep immaculate gardens and vegetable patches. One of those gardens is kept by a good friend of mine, an American national, the Comtesse de la TOUR. 

Occupying a gorgeous medieval tower, which was formerly (555 years ago) the appellate court of the region, the Comtesse keeps a serious raspberry patch. However, our usual casual grazing of her raspberry patch has been interrupted this year. There is an invader in Segur. The frelon Asiatic (Asian hornet) has arrived.

These nasty creatures entered France as stowaways in a boat load of pottery that came from China in 2004. After entering France through the Port of Bordeaux, the frelon have been migrating east to neighbouring regions, following rivers and watercourses. This summer, the frelon landed in Segur le Chateau.  

As it happens, the frelon have good taste in food. Like us, they love raspberries. They spend their days hovering around the bushes and frightening people. Our local tree surgeon was bitten by one and described the experience as similar to being shot with a nail gun. Ouch!


Keen to avoid such experiences, the Comtesse has derived a cunning system to “catch, kill, boil and dispose” of these bio-pests. Gone are the summer dresses and flip flops, now the Comtesse wears a makeshift bee keeper’s outfit, kept secure with clothing pegs to visit her raspberries.      

I visited her recently, to document the measures the Comtesse takes to control the frelon. 

The Comtesse sets the wasp traps among the raspberry bushes. During the heat of the day, the frelon fly around them, and eventually in through an opening in the bottom. They can't fly downward, so they cannot leave the trap. 
The Comtesse visits the raspberries in the early hours of the morning, before the frelon are active, to empty the traps. The frelon don't die in the traps, so the Comtesse drops the entire trap in a bucket of boiling water to ensure they are dead. Only once the frelon are dead, can the trap be safely opened (as above). 
The frelon are then disposed of into the stormwater drain. 

The frelon are the large hornets with the yellow stripes and yellow feet. 

Et voila! Perfect, sweet, raspberries. The reward after the long process of disturbing the hornets nest!

6 comments:

Jim Lustenader said...

The Comtesse who kicked the hornet's nest! Those are nasty looking beasts. Who says she can't cook--what about hornet soup?

Melanie said...

Hmmmm hornet soup! Sounds delightful. How wasteful the Comtesse has been, dispoing the of the hornets in the drain!

ninest123 said...

burberry outlet online, nike free run uk, nike air max, ray ban uk, michael kors outlet, nike blazer, mulberry, nike air max, sac guess, air force, vans pas cher, michael kors, kate spade handbags, converse pas cher, abercrombie and fitch, true religion outlet, ralph lauren uk, timberland, hermes, nike roshe, michael kors outlet, michael kors, hogan, ugg boots, nike air max, new balance pas cher, michael kors, michael kors outlet, coach purses, michael kors outlet, oakley pas cher, coach outlet, lacoste pas cher, true religion jeans, ugg boots, hollister pas cher, true religion jeans, michael kors, tn pas cher, coach outlet, vanessa bruno, hollister, north face, true religion jeans, michael kors outlet, burberry, ray ban pas cher, lululemon, north face, replica handbags

ninest123 said...

s5 cases, jimmy choo shoes, herve leger, ralph lauren, iphone 6s cases, p90x workout, nike huarache, chi flat iron, iphone cases, wedding dresses, lululemon, iphone 6 cases, vans shoes, mac cosmetics, iphone 5s cases, nike trainers, babyliss, celine handbags, birkin bag, baseball bats, hollister, iphone 6s plus cases, abercrombie and fitch, hollister, ferragamo shoes, ipad cases, new balance, beats by dre, giuseppe zanotti, nike air max, asics running shoes, mont blanc, north face outlet, nfl jerseys, mcm handbags, reebok shoes, north face outlet, iphone 6 plus cases, soccer shoes, soccer jerseys, longchamp, valentino shoes, nike roshe, oakley, timberland boots, louboutin, ghd, bottega veneta, hollister, insanity workout, instyler

ninest123 said...

ugg pas cher, thomas sabo, coach outlet, louis vuitton, moncler, moncler outlet, montre pas cher, lancel, moncler, canada goose outlet, pandora charms, karen millen, doudoune canada goose, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, louis vuitton, wedding dresses, marc jacobs, canada goose, louis vuitton, hollister, pandora jewelry, moncler, juicy couture outlet, barbour, swarovski, pandora charms, converse outlet, louis vuitton, moncler, swarovski crystal, moncler, ray ban, sac louis vuitton pas cher, toms shoes, moncler, canada goose, ugg boots uk, gucci, replica watches, barbour jackets, supra shoes, juicy couture outlet, canada goose, pandora jewelry, canada goose, canada goose outlet, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, bottes ugg, links of london, moncler, canada goose uk

ninest123 said...

air jordan pas cher, ralph lauren pas cher, burberry, sac longchamp, longchamp, tiffany and co, ray ban sunglasses, prada handbags, louis vuitton, air max, longchamp outlet, prada outlet, nike roshe run, uggs on sale, louis vuitton, ray ban sunglasses, nike free, nike air max, oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, louboutin pas cher, oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, ugg boots, jordan shoes, louboutin, tiffany jewelry, nike outlet, oakley sunglasses, longchamp outlet, kate spade outlet, replica watches, louis vuitton, christian louboutin outlet, louboutin outlet, longchamp pas cher, gucci outlet, nike air max, tory burch outlet, louboutin shoes, polo ralph lauren outlet, replica watches, michael kors, chanel handbags, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, nike free, ugg boots