A Clonoe man who set up his own business over a year ago is hoping that 2014 is the year he finds success.
33-year old Dylan Carson, from Washingbay Road in Clonoe, set up a wasp-keeping business last April against the advice of family, friends, neighbours, botanists, colleagues and passers-by in the street. The entrepreneur was adamant that the insects would be producing ‘jam by the hive-load’ in a matter of weeks.
“Waspkeeping is the new beekeeping”, said a confident Carson. “Read the papers and they’ll tell you bees is on the way out. They’re the same as the dinosaurs, expect smaller and buzzier. That’s why I got ahead of the game and got some wasps. I don’t think I did it right last year which is why they didn’t lay any jam. But I’m older and wiser this year, and I’m feeding them fresh strawberries and apricots. Not long now boys, not long now”,
he said, eagerly rubbing his hands together.
Carson admitted that the project had had ‘a few minor teething problems’, including an incident when he got stung over 200 times after accidentally sitting on one of the nests, and then finding out he was allergic to wasp stings.
“Aye, that’s one of things you learn as a waspkeeper that you don’t really realise. Wasps can sting a wee bit. Jaysus, that was some month in hospital. My arse was all swolled up like a balloon. Not having a proper waspkeeper’s costume was what did it. I just used an old balaclava and a pair of gardening gloves. Some handlin’ wasps”.
Challenged about the merits of keeping wasps, Carson was forthright in his explanation.
“Wasps? What’s wrong with keeping wasps? There’s stranger things that people are keeping and no-one bats an eyelid, like books, or houses. Or goals. It’s just a matter of understanding the wasps, see?” he said. “A lot of wasps have got anger management problems, but really when you get to know them they’re friendly craters. All that’s needed is a bit of tender loving care. They’re nice wee things”, he said as he slammed a wasp against the window with a rolled up Dungannon Observer. “Apart from that one”.
If successful, Carson plans to offer his services to others by becoming a wasp whisperer. He had a previous business which failed in 2012, when he discovered that moths were unable to produce marmalade.