How to Make a Perfect Cup of Pickwick Tea

So what could be simpler than brewing a cup of Pickwick tea? While the act itself is simple enough there are a number of things to consider if you want to get as much benefit and enjoyment as possible from your tea drinking experience.

Water Is Key

The quality of the water used to brew tea can have a considerable effect on its taste. Tap water can be very “hard” meaning it has a high amount of dissolved minerals like calcium, magnesium and various sulfates, all of which can have a deleterious effect on tea taste. Likewise the chlorine and fluoride added to water by many towns and cities also affects the taste of water. So you may want to use your favorite brand of bottled spring water (not distilled water) instead. Why not try it and see if you can tell a difference in the taste of your Pickwick tea.


The temperature of the water is also important in making a great cup of Pickwick tea. The water temperature varies depending on the type of tea you use. Most of the tea consumed in the United States is black tea although green tea is becoming increasingly popular. Pickwick tea carries both varieties in its extensive line of quality teas. Black tea gets its characteristic dark color because it is heavily oxidized as part of its processing. Green tea is not oxidized when processed and so retains the original green color of the tea leaves. Because of this difference the two types have different requirements for the temperature of the water used to brew them.

If you don’t happen to have a thermometer you can judge the temperature by watching the bubbles in the water. When the temperature is around 160-170 degrees you’ll notice small bubbles floating to the surface of the water. When the water reaches 180-190 degrees you’ll see streams of bubbles rising. Shortly after that the water will reach a full boil. Do not boil the water for too long however as this will dissipate the oxygen in it and you will not experience all of the great flavor in your tea.


For black tea it is recommended that you use fully boiled water. Simply place a fresh tea bag in your cup and pour the water over it. Don’t try to immerse the bag in a cup of hot water as the tea will not become fully infused with water and you won’t get the full flavor of the tea. Let the tea steep for four to six minutes, no more. Leaving the bag in longer than that will leave you with a bitter cup of tea. If you like your tea stronger use two bags don’t lengthen the steeping time.

For green tea you should not use fully boiled water. The water temperature should be around 150-160 degrees. So place a fresh green tea bag in your cup, pour the water over it and allow it to steep for two to three minutes. Green tea is more delicate than black and should be steeped for a shorter time to prevent bitterness in the drink.

To insure a quality cup of tea always use the freshest tea available. Pickwick tea comes in individually wrapped tea bags, and each one is sealed in foil to preserve its freshness and taste. So why not use these helpful hints to brew yourself a perfect cup of Pickwick tea today. You won’t regret it.

The Six Classes of Nutrients and Their Functions

Nutrients are chemicals found in foods that are essential to human growth and function. There are six classes of nutrients: carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water. All six have certain functions that target a different body part, and together, they ensure the state of our overall health. Some of the different functions of some nutrients are listed below in more detail:

Carbohydrates, Fats and Proteins

Carbohydrates, fats and proteins are listed in one category because they are called macro-nutrients, meaning they are needed in large amounts. This is because you get most of your energy from foods that contain carbohydrates, fats or proteins and the energy we need for basic functioning and physical activity also comes from these nutrients. Carbohydrates are the primary source of fuel for our bodies, especially for our brain and during physical activity. On the other hand, fats are an important energy source when our bodies are at rest and during low-intensity exercises. Proteins support the growth, repair and maintenance of tissues. The following are the foods that contain good sources of carbohydrates, fats and proteins:

  • Carbohydrates: vegetables, whole wheat pasta, whole grain bread
  • Fats: oils such as vegetable, canola and flaxseed
  • Proteins: fish, legumes, nuts


Vitamins are an essential nutrient because they build and maintain healthy bones and muscle tissue. They also support our immune system, maintain the health of our blood, and ensure healthy vision. Vitamins are micro-nutrients, meaning they are needed in small amounts to sustain our normal health and body functions. Some examples of common vitamins are Vitamin C and K, and the many B Vitamins.


Minerals assist in the regulation of many body functions, some of which involve regulating fluids and producing energy and health of our bones and blood. This nutrient also helps rid our body of harmful byproducts of metabolism. Some examples of well-known minerals are calcium, potassium, sodium and iron.


Water is one of the most important nutrients mainly because it is extremely important for our survival. The appropriate intake of water maintains the balance of fluids inside and outside of our cells. Water is also critical because it assists in the regulation of nerve impulses, the excretion of waste products, muscle contractions and nutrient transport. We consume water in solid forms such as fruits and vegetables as well as in liquid form such as juices and soups. Drinking eight to ten glasses of water will ensure that all the above body functions are carried out properly.

Overall, with the regular intake of the needed amounts of each of these six nutrients, you are able to maintain a desirable body weight.

When & How to Trim Citrus Trees in Arizona

In the elementary school I attended in Tempe, Arizona, I was taught about the Five C’s of Arizona. They are: Copper, Cattle, Cotton, Citrus and Climate. For this article, I will be focusing on the fourth C of this list. Arizona’s climate is perfect for growing citrus trees, but not all Arizonans know how to care for them. The biggest mistakes commonly made involve how and when to prune citrus trees. Many people are concerned about WHEN they should prune their citrus trees, though that is not the most important question involved. For some, the answer could be: NEVER! Perhaps a more appropriate question is: why should I not trim my citrus trees?

Why NOT to Trim Citrus Trees

When one Valley resident asked The Arizona Republic’s garden expert when she should trim her citrus trees, this was part of the reply: “Homeowners like to trim their citrus trees for looks. Did you know that citrus trees are actually bushes and their branches naturally grow low to the ground? That’s Mother Nature’s way of protecting the fruit and bark …” Those who have driven by the old groves that still exist in parts of East Mesa may understand this idea of citrus trees as overgrown shrubs. The popular misconception that citrus trees should be trimmed the same way as any other type of tree means a shortened life span for many citrus trees in the Phoenix area. This is why I would like readers to ask themselves why they want to trim them before they wonder about when to prune their citrus trees. Whether the aim is to optimize citrus fruit production or simply to have your citrus trees contribute aesthetically to your yard, you should keep their overall health in mind when trimming.

How to Trim Citrus Trees

Even if done during the most optimal time of year, any pruning done should be very minimal. As Dave Owens, also known as ‘The Garden Guy’ states, “Citrus trees like to be left unpruned. The more foliage and dead wood on the tree, the more sun protection the tree trunk will get.” John Begeman, another gardening expert of Arizona, points out that “more leaves equates to more and better fruit,” and also recommends pruning “only if you must and only using the proper techniques.” As outlined in a 1987 article by Lowell F. True, there is some trimming that may be necessary. Although it is best to leave a ‘skirt’ (branches that nearly touch the ground), it is all right to trim this away just enough to make watering and fertilizing easier. Errant branches may also be trimmed, especially if they rub against other branches. As for the outer foliage, the tree’s silhouette, this may be ‘shaped’ for aesthetic purposes, as long as great care is taken to avoid exposing too much bark of the tree to sunlight. There is only one type of pruning that can and should be done regardless of the time of year, especially if you maintain citrus trees for their fruit: the removal of sucker growth. These suckers are also called ‘water sprouts,’ and will sprout from the trunk or even the roots of the tree. A layman may feel this necessary out of intuition or a desire to make the tree look nice, but in fact there is a good reason behind it. True says: “Be sure to eliminate all suckers arising from below the bud union [which is the site of grafting]. They are from the rootstock variety and will not bear edible fruit. When left to develop, they will take over the top portion causing your named citrus variety to be reverted back to an undesired variety.” One important ‘when’ of pruning involves limbs that have been killed by frost, do not remove this deadwood until after spring growth has started, so you can be sure of the extent of the damage.

When to Trim Citrus Trees in Arizona

The best time of year to trim citrus trees is in the spring. If you trim them between about mid March to early May, the trees are less likely to be harmed by extremes in temperature. Citrus fruit ripens in the late fall, from about November to February for most varieties. Minimal pruning during this harvest time is also acceptable. During the winter there is danger of frost, and during the summer there is the opposite problem. Citrus trees are highly sensitive to sun damage, especially during the hottest months of the year and during the hottest parts of the day. If the tree is not shaded during the afternoon, any bare trunk or branches need to be wrapped or painted (whitewashed) for sun protection. The tree is most vulnerable where it receives direct sunshine in the afternoon: the Southwestern exposure. This is why it is so important not to overprune citrus trees: branches subjected to direct sun will burn, and full exposure to the trunk can kill the tree altogether.

In conclusion, I would like to re-emphasize that knowing when to trim citrus trees is not nearly as important as understanding how to trim citrus trees. The number one rule in knowing when to trim citrus trees is the sun. The number one rule in knowing how to trim citrus trees is minimalism. Remember, they are actually just large bushes.

SOURCES (in order of citation within article): The Arizona Republic: Southwest Gardens, Diana Balazs. The Garden Guy: “Citrus Trees” by Dave Owens. Arid-Southwestern Gardening Information: John Begeman [], University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “To Prune, or Not to Prune – Citrus, That is.” Lowell F. True, The University of Arizona College of Agriculture “Citrus in the Home and Garden”

Kissing Tips You Must Know If You Want To Impress A Woman

Learning kissing tips is something everyone should do. The first kiss is what most women look at when trying to determine whether or not you are a good lover. If you cannot kiss, chances are you are lousy in bed, and this is unacceptable to women.

I have a lot of female friends and let me tell you, whenever they first kiss man the first thing they do is tell everyone they know how it was. One of the first questions asked to a woman after a date (sometimes the first question) is: “So, did you kiss?” If the answer is yes, it is almost always followed by “What it good?”

You may have taken my advice on how to attract, approach, and then seduce women, but unless you fully understand my kissing advice , you will have a hard time keeping any woman. That is if you don’t know how to kiss already, of course. Knowing how most men think I am assuming that you believe you already know how to kiss girls properly. From what I’ve heard through my female friends, however, chances are you do not know everything.

Everything you do when kissing a girl, especially for the first time, will have her re-evaluating any pre-judgments she may have had about you. You could give the first impression that you are confident, sensual, and smart, but if you give her a bad kissing experience she will immediately associate a new set of beliefs to you.

Women want to be with a man who can make them feel as though they are the sexiest woman alive, and this cannot be accomplished if you cannot kiss. She will also think you don’t give a damn because excellent kissing advice is everywhere and finding effective kissing tips is very easily found – if you look for it.

Learning how to kiss girls goes far deeper than applying a bunch of kissing tips on her, though. In order to blow any woman away with your lips you have got to know when and how to execute those kissing tips . The mood and timing play a major factor and if not carefully executed it won’t matter whether you are a kissing master because she cannot fully enjoy it!

Men are so much different than women and when it comes to kissing, they are TOTALLY different. A man will enjoy any kiss a woman he is interested gives him, even if it’s a bad kiss. I have slept with many girls who couldn’t kiss worth a damn because we men are animals. Plus, most men, along with myself, believe they can turn almost any woman into the kisser or lover they desire.

Women, on the other hand, are far more picky. If they are not impressed or are repulsed by the way a man kisses her for the first time, chances are she will never get into a sexual relationship with them. Women want a man who knows what he’s doing and believe they should never have to teach him about kissing. After all, in a woman’s mind a bad kisser is a man who’s not sensual – and sensuality, to a woman, cannot be taught.

Knowing what to do before the first kiss, or any kiss for that matter, can make even a bad kiss seem pleasurable. That said, a kiss is not just a physical action, it is an experience. An experience that depends on the process and procedures prior to the physical act.

Building Anticipation

One of my favorite kissing tips I have used over the years is building anticipation. If you are receiving positive signals from a girl and are almost 100% sure she would like you to kiss her, hold off. Anticipation will build tension and making her wait for that first kiss will get her hot juices flowing. Everything good in life is worth waiting for, and a first kiss is no exception.

There are so many things a man has to do before going in for a kiss and this article will give you some very valuable kissing advice that will blow her socks off. The art of kissing, especially when kissing a woman, has been studied and researched so much that we have a very good understanding of what separates a good kiss from a bad kiss.

Be Kissable

A man has got to be kissable if he wants any woman to crave his lips against hers. The appearance of your lips is crucial. Make sure they are moist, soft, silky, and smooth. Do you know how many men I have seen out on a date with dry, chapped, and cracked lips? What the hell are they thinking? I don’t care how attractive you are, if you’re lips are disgusting no woman will want to kiss you. So use lip balm before you go out with a woman. Lip balm works wonders and I cannot recommend its use enough. You can limit its use only for dates and while meeting women, but if you don’t mind building somewhat of a dependence on the stuff, use it all the time!

Prevent Or Mask Bad Breath

So you’ve got nice lips already, do you? Okay, there are some of us who do, but there is something else you should always ask yourself: “How does my breath smell?” People with bad breath rarely know that they have it, so even if you brush your teeth a thousand times a day you should always bring breath mints when you are with a woman you want to kiss. Brushing your teeth does not eliminate halitosis (bad breath) because teeth are not the culprit that cause bad breath.

Bad breath can be caused by anything from your diet to genetics, and the easiest and most effective way to defeat it is by using breath mints. Also, drink a lot of water. Staying hydrated will prevent your mouth from getting dry, and a dry mouth smells a lot worse than a moist one. This kissing advice must be followed always because you could be doing everything else right, but if your breath smells, sayonara. You fail. Women are very sensitive to smells and bad breath will have them turning away and running out the door faster than a bad out of hell.

Be Sure She Is Ready To Be Kissed

Even if you have the nicest teeth and freshest smelling breath, you have to know for sure that she is ready to be kissed. I go into great detail on reading female body language and signals women send so I recommend you become familiar with them because nothing is as embarrassing as being turned away from a kiss. Women send signals all the time and it is really easy to know if they are kissable.

If you think a woman is sending signals that she can be kissed, make sure the mood and timing are right. Don’t rush into a kiss, especially first kisses, even you’re receiving positive vibes. Like I said earlier, building anticipation is very effective and picking the right moment will make the kiss that much more special. When is the right time? That is something you will have to figure out on your own. Every woman is different so making your own judgment is important and something no kissing coach can teach. We can set you up and help you execute, but it is ultimately up to you to decide if the time is right.

Move In For The Kiss

Once you think the time is right, make your approach and move in for the kiss. Always make sure the girl is paying attention when you move in because surprising her will freak her out. She wouldn’t have time to enjoy the kiss because she isn’t expecting it. This is the final few seconds of anticipation, when your eyes are locked and nothing is being said. She will get excited and enjoy the kiss a lot more than if a kiss is taken from her.

Your approach must be slow and smooth. Smile and take this chance while you are close to enjoy her smell. Don’t go directly for the lips, take a detour and hover her face while gently skimming your lips along her cheeks and then slowly move toward her mouth. Pull back and look into her eyes again. While moving in be sure to close your eyes the moment before your lips touch. Wandering eyes while moving in closer will leave her thinking you are examining her imperfections and keeping your eyes open during a kiss will freak her out. There have been a few times when I caught a woman with her eyes open and let me tell you, there is nothing weirder. I’m sure that women find it even more bizarre.

Be Gentle

The first kiss must be gentle. You don’t want to be aggressive and press your lips too hard on her. The key is to meet her lips, and for crying out loud, don’t be one of those guys who forces his tongue down a woman’s throat. A french kiss on your first attempt will make you seem over-eager and slimy. Women remember the first kiss and making it as gentle, sensual, and romantic as possible will make the kiss memorable.

After meeting her lips for a few seconds, pull away and look into her eyes some more. Notice if she is enjoying the kiss and if she doesn’t move in herself within a couple of seconds (which happens most of the time), kiss her again. This time a little longer while remaining gentle and sensual.

Enjoy Her Lips And The Kiss

Give the woman you are kissing the impression that just kissing her is enjoyable enough. Don’t start petting her inner thigh or her breasts during the first few kisses or she’ll think you’re just trying to get laid. Take time to enjoy the kiss and don’t rush. Gently rub your lips against hers as though you are enjoying every last contour. Don’t just lock your lips, you want to feel every bit of her lips. Move from upper lip to lower lip and vice versa. Do whatever you can that says: “I don’t want to miss even a millimeter of your lips.”

Relax And Breathe

Relax and make sure you are breathing. Breathing, though second nature, is very easily forgotten in many activities. Not that you’ll end up suffocating if you’re into a kiss too much, but it is very common for people to lose their breath while kissing and making silly sounds when their bodies involuntarily compensate for the lack of oxygen.

Touch Her While Kissing

One of the most effective kissing tips you will ever read has nothing to do with your lips. Touching a woman the right way is kissing advice you must not overlook. Men can be turned on by a simple kiss, but women need a lot more. Using your hands by touching and/or cupping her face will show that you are attracted to her and allow her to feel attractive. Gently touch the outer part of her arms or hold her hands. Run your hands through her hair. Just remember to keep it innocent and not to feel her up.

Don’t Just Kiss Her Lips

After kissing her lips and determining that she is enjoying it, move on to other parts of the face. The side of her mouth, cheeks, temple, forehead, and anywhere else on her face . Women want to feel beautiful and if you gently kiss different parts of her face, she will feel as though you cannot get enough of her entire face. Don’t overdo it though – you are not a dog.

Say Sweet Nothings

You can say sweet things to a woman before, during, and after a kiss. Tell her that you’ve had a crush on her for a while and were looking forward to kissing her. Comment on the softness of her lips and how pleasant she smells. Make her feel as though she is the most attractive woman you’ve ever kissed and I promise you she will open up even more and be comfortable in progressing into french kissing or even sex. Learning how to french kiss deserves its own kissing advice article so I won’t get into it here. Just know that comfort level is important in getting the most out of a kissing session.

The kissing tips I’ve outlined above work brilliantly. I give kissing advice to a lot of men and never have any of them been disappointed. I know that these tips on how to kiss girls will help and hope that you enjoy ever last minute while your lips are touching hers.

What Is Geofencing and How Is It Used for IVMS?

Geofencing is a technology that defines a virtual boundary around a real-world geographical area. A geofence can be dynamically generated-as in a radius around a mine site or office, or a geofence can be a predefined set of boundaries (i.e. school zones or neighbourhood boundaries).

Geofencing is an integral part of In Vehicle Management System (IVMS) (also known as GPS tracking or Telematics) hardware and software. It allows system users to draw zones around places of work, client sites and high risk, dangerous or secure areas. Geofencing can be a valuable tool. Examples of situations where it may be utilised include:

  • Formally mark ‘no-go’ zones
    Example: Could be used to ensure employees avoid construction zones or environmentally protected areas.
  • Create speed awareness
    Example: Speed limits can be associated with certain areas such as a school zone or worksite.
  • Record entry, exit and duration within certain zone
    Example: May be used to verify that driver routes are followed or that certain KPIs are met.
  • Block high risk/dangerous areas
    Example: Aids employees in avoiding unsafe areas such as a train line or explosive area at a mine site.
  • Theft Prevention Tool
    Example: When a car is parked with the ignition off, it can be programmed to put up a geofence. Should the vehicle move from that geofence the user or operator will be notified.

Notification Integration Options

There are many ways that geofence-related notifications can be incorporated into an IVMS system.

  • Events and notifications can be programmed to be automatically sent via email or SMS to multiple parties. Various criteria can be set up (i.e. when an employee enters or exits a certain area a notification is sent to the operations manager, or if a no-go zone is breached, management is notified)
  • IVMS can be connected to trigger an audible or visible warning in-cab to create driver awareness (i.e. if a driver enters a high risk area, they will be warned with a flashing light or buzzer)
  • In high risk areas IVMS can be programmed to report more often for added safety and security

Electronic notifications usually includes the time, date and location that the virtual boundary was crossed, allowing for an immediate investigation or response to the situation.

Geofencing Benefits

Aside from just being a way to track activity within a specific geographical location, geofencing is a powerful tool for:

  • Improving driver safety and awareness
  • Establishing driver accountability
  • Streamlining daily operations
  • Increasing overall company productivity
  • Tracking inventory and high valued assets

The Pros and Cons of School Fencing

There are many different opinions concerning school fencing and the materials that this item should be constructed of. Many taxpayers feel that school fencing is in violation of their rights as taxpaying citizens. Many people feel that without the presence of school fencing the children that attend the classes on that campus are vulnerable to pedophiles and other people that would harm them. There are really good points on both sides of this argument.

School Fencing Pros:

1. School fencing will provide a distinguishing barrier between the areas the children play different games at. It can establish a field for football, baseball, and hockey. It stops the balls from the sporting activity from inadvertently hitting targets they should not have hit, like cars in the parking lot.

2. School fencing reduces the number of acts of vandalism the property is subjected to each year. It also reduces the number of times that thieves break in and steal computer equipment, and things of this nature.

3. A fenced in enclosure provides additional security for the children that attend the classes and provides peace of mind to the parents of those children.

4. Reduces the cost of the liability insurance coverage the school district is forced to carry.

5. Protects the children from being lost, kidnapped, or exposed to people they are better off not being exposed to.

School Fencing Cons:

1. Taxpayers have a right to public property that they pay taxes on

2. Increases the duties of the maintenance staff

3. Increases the duties of the grounds keeping personnel

4. Takes taxpayer dollars to pay for the materials to build these enclosures

5. If not properly maintained the fencing can become dangerous to the children on campus

The biggest point that the people who are against school fencing make is that they are paying for the property and they should have access to it. The fencing material will not prevent you from going to the property and from going on the property. It will cause you to have to check in with some member of the faculty before you go onto the property.

The best point that the people who are against the fencing make is that the materials to construct this enclosure will cost money. They are absolutely right about that. The trouble is that the enclosure provides security to our communities children. There is no way to place a price tag on the safety of a child.

The best point that the people for these enclosures make is that they provide the security to the children and they help the faculty to keep an eye on these children. This includes keeping the children in one place when they are playing their different types of ball. It also keeps the ball from causing damages to other peoples’ property.

It is a fact that we do pay taxes that provide the funding for the public school buildings and properties. It is also a fact that the world we live in has become more dangerous to our young people. The rest of the decision is strictly up o you.

Curtains in Rich Autumnal Colors

Autumn is an excellent time of year to be inspired by nature's color palette of rich reds, dusky yellows, burnt oranges and deep hues of greens within interior design concepts and styles. A living room will look welcoming and cozy with curtains, soft furnishings and accessories which reflect these autumnal hues and shades.

Deep rich red curtains made from good quality chenille or damask fabrics will provide a warm glow to a living room and are an excellent choice for coordinating with a whole host of soft furnishing colors such as creams, beige or midnight blues and gold. For a more traditional look, curtains with symmetrical all over contrasting color patterns can be teamed with stripes and plain fabrics which have a similar tone to either the main curtain color or the contrasting pattern. The latest design principals use combinations of different textures and patterns to provide both visual appeal and tactile soft furnishings, which are combined together simply by choosing colors from the palette spectrum which reflect nature's choices. For inspiration as to which colors tone and blend well together a trip to a local park or a walk in a leafy area will provide a multitude of color ranges which can be utilized effectively within a home.

Plain or patterned curtains made from a medium or heavy weight fabric which are hung from the curtain track to the floor will provide valuable heat insulation to a room during the cooler months. This style of curtain can be swept back and held in place with rope tassels to provide gentle folds of fabric. Rope tassels are available in a variety of different colors which can be used to correspond with the living room's color themes, not only will they add the finishing touches to the curtains they can also be used as an effective way to bring a sense of harmony to a room, especially when the colors accent the soft furnishings.

Scatter cushions made from complimentary fabric colors and textures piled onto a sofa will add to the overall interior design style as well as looking inviting to snuggle into as the nights draw in. Traditional cushions of all the same dimensions, fabrics and colors still have their place for an ordered look and approach, however, by adding cushions which are of different shapes, sizes and textured fabrics and offer a more informal look and feel to a room.

A key factor of interior design is not to use too many different main colors, two or three is preferred and then to look at all the different shades within these main colors to use in complimentary or contrasting ways. Each main color has an extensive range of shades, from the deepest near black to naturally white and all variations of shades in between, combinations of these tones are visually pleasing to the eye and for a dramatic effect a completely different base color can be accidentally randomly and strategically within the room. For example, deep reds contrasted with cream and injected with a contrast of gold will offer a sumptuous and rich feel to a room.

Using Ladybugs and Diatomaceous Earth to Control Aphids

I’m trying something new this year to control aphids on my micro farm. Ladybugs and diatomaceous earth.

The first aphid controller I used were the Ladybugs. I had ordered these sweet honeys (1500 of them) a while back because the aphid population had seriously exploded; but because they weren’t packed properly, the container they were shipped in was cracked wide open, and only about 50 of the original 1500 arrived. And, to make matters worse, because it was so hot in Ohio where they were coming from, they couldn’t be shipped until the temp came down. Finally, they arrived and last evening, the ladies were released and the aphid problem should be a thing of the past for this season. You release ladybugs at twilight in order to prevent them from flying off. Apparently, they do not come equipped with night vision goggles. Next year, I’ll order earlier to avoid the heat and get a head start on the aphids before they get out of control.

The other tool I will use this year to control aphids will be diatomaceous earth, or DE for short because that word is way too long and arduous to type. DE is the fossilized skeletal remains of tiny microscopic plants called diatoms. They come in a variety of shapes like snowflakes, cones or tubes, and their shape has a great deal to do with the effectiveness of DE. DE is not a pesticide, but works through a mechanical means. Insects are covered with cuticle, which is a waxy coating that protects their bodies. DE, with it’s razor sharp edges, cuts through this waxy substance, lodging between their body plates; and because DE is also quite porous, starts sucking the juice out of them, drying the buggers out. Since using DE is a mechanical process and not a pesticide, bugs can’t develop an immunity to it. 

You can use DE as a wormer for your pets, or put it on their coats to kill off any fleas or ticks. There are a few warnings about DE you should pay attention to. Never buy DE that is swimming pool grade. This stuff may be great for filtering out pool water, but you don’t want this in or on your body, or your pets bodies. It can cause silicosis, a lung disease which can be permanent. The DE you want is called FOOD GRADE or GARDEN GRADE diatomaceous earth. But even with the safe version, you do need to take precautions. Try not to inhale it, because it can cause mucous membrane irritation. And since it’s like millions of microscopic katana blades, it goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway); don’t get this stuff in your eyes. I’ve bought some of those hospital-type face masks you can buy at any drug store or multinational corporate big-box store to keep the dust out of my nose and lungs, and I’ll use some safety glasses to keep it out of my eyes. Goggles might work better.

There is one extra bonus on using DE in your garden. It provides 14 trace elements; which for the most part is something that is missing with modern farming practices because the chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides leach the trace elements from the soil. You need these trace elements in your body for good health. 

But be careful not to put too much DE in your garden soil. It can kill off beneficials like earthworms. I’ll be carefully putting it around the edges of my growing boxes to take care of the ant problem; but I won’t be using the duster to spray the plants because it will kill off the ladybugs. Which would be self defeating.

Useful Tips When Buying a Home

There are plenty of reasons you should buy a home and the same for not buying one. The economy is tough today but the housing market seems to be easing up some and this is the time to make one of the biggest decisions of one’s life. Here are some quality tips on buying a home whether it happens to be the first time you buy a home or if you are an experience one looking for another home.

Do not buy a home if you do not plan on staying there a while. This is very important because you will simply be throwing away money if you do not plan to live there at least three to five years. This is because you want to cover the overall costs of transactions during the purchase. If you do not stay, there is a possibility you might end up losing all the money that you spent especially if the housing market does not improve. If housing prices are falling, then you will have a worse chance at breaking even.

Trying to shore up your credit which means that you want to try to keep your credit as crystal clear as humanly possible when it comes to housing debts. Most people are going to need a mortgage, so when you decide to back out of one, it will probably go on your credit. It is very important that you take a couple months out of your schedule (few hours here and there every week) to house hunt and while doing that obtain your credit report. Make sure that it is accurate. You do not want to get caught off guard.

Do not try to buy a home that goes over your budget. There is a typical rule in real estate that you can own a house that is twice what you make in a year. Do not ever believe this for a minute. You want to make sure that you get a firm grasp on all your bills and figure in the mortgage by using a pencil, paper and calculator. Never put yourself in a situation that could end up landing you in bankruptcy.

Always try to get the help of professionals because that is what they are there for. If you are a new buyer or you’re buying your second one, these people are there to steer you in the right direction and to help you avoid pitfalls.

Detailed Procedures to Repair the Bulge on the Shell of a HRT Steam Boiler

All repairs must be acceptable to the governing code jurisdiction (such as NBIC), therefore all methods of repair must have written approval from the Chief Inspector or Authorized Inspector. The guideline to flush patch can be obtained from RD-2060a Flush Patches of NBIC.

Carry out hardness test (DT) on the bulge area to determine extent of defect. Mark out the boundary line of the defective section to be cut out based on acceptable tensile strength obtained. Use Vickers Hardness test (HV) to test for the metal strength of carbon steel. The method of repair is called “flush patch”, which means the shell is cutout around the failure in elliptical or rectangular, and a piece of new boilerplate rolled to correct curvature is inserted with the edge of original shell and patch butt-welded. For rectangular shape, provide accurate radius as square corners shall be avoided.

Refer the manufacturer’s blueprint on the material specifications of the shell and the patches shall be made from the material that is equal in quality and thickness to the original material. The edge shall align without overlap. Weld preparation to be double “vee” with an included angle of 60o to 70o. The gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) shall be used for the initial pass joining the patch to shell. The balance of the weld shall be manual shielded metallic arc welding using low hydrogen electrodes confirmed to ASME Code Sect IX.

Weld the inside first, then back gouge on the outside. Grind the sound metal before continuing the welding on the outside. Grind flush the accessible surface, and after completion of welding, visually check for weld undercut and repair if necessary. Refer the manufacturer’s blueprint on the NDT used during construction, and normally the weld on flush patch of shell is 100% radiographed. Acceptance of weld is in accordance with ASME Code or BS 2970 code. Post weld heat treatment (PWHT) is to be done to relieve the residual stress on the heat affected zone (HAZ). Carryout hydrostatic test on the boiler. Test pressure shall be 1.5 times the design pressure. The holding time is 10 minutes.

A Glossary of Archery Terms A to Z

Armguard: A leather pad worn on the inside of the forearm of the bow hand to protect the arm from the slap of the bow string.

Arrow Plate: An inlay just above the handle on the side of the bow where the arrow passes as it leaves the bow.

Ascharm’ A cabinet in which Bows, arrows, and archery tackle are stored.

Back: The surface of the bow farthest from the archer when the bow is held in the shooting position.

Backing: Various materials including: fibre glass, cellulose products, raw hide, etc. glued to the back of the bow to improve its cast.

Backed Boiv: A bow to which a backing has been glued.

Barb: A projection on a hunting head which prevents its easy withdrawal.

Barreled Arrow: An arrow whose shaft is tapered from the middle toward each end and having its greatest cross-sectional area in the middle of the shaft.

Boss or Bast: The twisted and coiled straw back of a target to which the face is attached.

Bow Stave: A billet of wood from which a bow is to be manufactured.

Bowyer: A maker of bows.

Brace: To string the bow.

Belly: The belly of the bow is the side that you see when you hold the bow in shooting position.

Bend: The act of bracing or placing the string in the bow nocks.

Bobtailed Arrow: An arrow that has its greatest cross section at the pyle and tapers toward the nock.

Bodkin: A three bladed broadhead arrow.

Broadhead: A flat triangular shaped hunting head made of steel.

Butt: A backstop to which faces are attached, such as bales of straw.

Carriage Bow: A bow that has its two limbs joined under the handle in a ferrule. It can be disjointed to permit easy transportation. (Takedown).

Cast: The inherent ability of a bow to propel an arrow.

Chested Arrow: An arrow that has its greatest cross-section toward the nock and tapers from this point toward both the nock and pyle.

Chrysal: A compression failure i.e., a fracture of the fibres usually appearing as a line across the belly of the bow.

Clout Target: The standard four foot target enlarged twelve times and laid out in a horizontal position on the ground.

Cock Feather: The feather on the arrow which is at right angles to the nock. Usually the odd colored feather.

Crest: Colored bands of varying width and spacing, painted on the arrow for identification purposes.

Crossbow: A short bow set crosswise on a stock, drawn by mechanical means, and discharging a dart by trigger release.

Cross Wind: A wind blowing across the target.

Curl: A swirl in the grain of a bow stave.

Down Wind: A wind blowing toward the target.

Draw: The act of pulling the bow string the full length of the arrow.

Drawing Fingers: The first three fingers of the hand used in pulling the string.

Drawing Weight: The force in pounds required to bring a bow to full draw.

Drift: The sidewise movement of the arrow as it travels toward the target due to a cross wind.

End: A unit number of arrows used in scoring. In target com¬petition six arrows constitute an end.

Eye-‘ The loop or loops in a bow string.

Field Captain: The official in charge of a tournament.

Finger Tips: Leather finger stalls used to protect the tips of the three shooting fingers.

Fistmele: The distance from the base of the clenched hand to the tip of the extended thumb. Used as a measure of the proper distance from the handle to the string when a flat

bow is braced or strung.

Fletch: Placing the feathers on an arrow.

Fletcher: A manufacturer of arrows. Arrow maker.

Fletching: The feathers which guide the arrow in flight.

Flight Arrow: A long, light arrow with very small fletching or vanes. Used in distance shooting.

Flirt: A jerky or jumping movement of an arrow from its theoretical flight line.

Follow the String: A bow that has taken a permanent set in the drawing direction.

Floo Floo: An arrow used in wing shooting. It is generally fletched with a complete spiral. The size of the fletching is such that the flight distance is short.

Footing: A hardwood splice at the pyle end of a wooden shafted arrow.

Gold: The bulls-eye in the regulation four foot circular target. A circle nine and three-fifths inches in diameter.

Grip: The part of the bow held in the shooting hand.

Hen Feathers: The two feathers, generally of the same color,which are not at a right angle to the arrow nock.

High Braced: When the fistmele distance exceeds seven inches.It is better to high brace a bow than to low brace one.

Hold: The pause at full draw position prior to release of the arrow.

Home: When the arrow is fully drawn with the pyle even with the back of the bow it is said to be “home”.

Horns: Tips of the bow made from animal horn in which the bow string nock is cut.

Jointed Bows: Same as a carriage bow.

Kick: A jar which is felt when a bow is shot. Generally due to unevenly tillered bow limbs.

Lady Paramount: A lady assistant to the field captain. In charge of the women’s shooting line or division in a tournament.

Laminated Bow: A bow that is built up in layers. It may consist of different kinds of wood, wood and metal, wood and

fibre glass, etc.

Limb: Half of the bow. From the handle or grip to the tip.Upper and lower limbs.

Loose: The act of shooting. Letting the drawn bow string slip

from the shooting fingers.

National Archery Association. (NAA): National Association of Target Archers.

National Field Archery Association. (NFAA): National Asso¬ciation of Field Archers.

Nocks: The grooves at the tips of the limbs of a bow into which the bow string is fitted, also the slot at the feathered end of an arrow.

Nocking Point: The point on the bow string where the arrow nock rests.

Overbowed: A bow with a drawing weight in excess of that which the archer can shoot properly.

Overdraw: To draw the bow beyond the arrow length for which the bow is designed.

Overstrung: When the fistmele is exceeded by the use of too short a bow string.

Pair: Two arrows and a spare, also three feathers.

Pennant: A small flag with the fly longer than the hoist. Placed at the line of targets on a staff to indicate the direction and velocity of the wind at the targets.

Petticoat: The border outside of the last or white ring of the target.It has no scoring value.

Pyle: The metal tip attached to the head of the arrow shaft,the point of the arrow. Anglo-Saxon (pil) meaning dart,also spelled pile.

Pin: A very small knot in bow woods, especially yew or osage.

Pinch: To crush the fibres of the bow by compression. See Chrysal.

Pinch: To squeeze the arrow between the drawing fingers.

Pin Hole: The center of the gold of the target, i.e., dead center.

Point Blank: The act of aiming directly at the target.

Point of Aim: An object at which an archer aims by sighting over the tip of the arrow.

Quiver: A container for arrows. Shape, size and materials vary.They may be carried at the waist, over the shoulder, on the bow, or on the bow arm.

Quiver, Ground: In the simplest form, a metal rod approximately 18 inches long, pointed at one end and a loop formed at right angles to the stem at the other end. Inserted

in the ground, arrows may be dropped through the loop and withdrawn one at a time.

Range: The terrain used in archery competitions. Also called a Field Course.

Recurved Bow: A bow that is bent back from a straight line at the ends of the limbs.

Reflexed Bow: Unstrung and held in a shooting position, the limbs of the bow curve away from the archer.

Release: Same as Loose.

Round: A fixed number of shots at a given distance or set of distances.

Rover: An archer who engages in field shooting. See Roving.

Roving: Shooting over fields and woodlands at natural targets.

Run: When a single one of the strands which make up a bow string frays, stretches, or breaks, the string is said to have a run.

Sap Wood: The wood immediately underneath the bark.

Self: Used in reference to a bow or an arrow made from a single piece of wood, i.e., self bow, self arrow.

Serving: The winding or wrapping around the bow string at the nocking points to protect the bow string from wear.

Shaft: The body or main section of the arrow. The term “feathered shaft” is frequently used in print to designate an arrow.

Shaftment: That section of the shaft to which the feathers are attached.

Shake: A longitudinal crack in a bow stave.

Shooting Glove: A three fingered glove used to protect the shooting fingers.

Shooting Tab: A flat piece of leather designed to be worn on the shooting fingers for protection.

Spiral: The curved position in which the feathers are attached to the arrow shaft.

Spine: The quality of resiliency in an arrow which permits it to bend as it passes the bow in flight and then recover its original shape.

Stacked Bow-‘ A bow with an oval cross section. One in which the thickness of the limbs is little greater than the width.

Steele: Same as shaft.

Tab: See shooting tab.

Tackle: The equipment of an archer: bow, arrows, quiver, tabs,strings, etc.

Takedown: See Carriage Bow.

Tiller: Shaping the bow to proper curvature. To tiller a bow.

Toxophilite: One fond of, or devoted to, archery. Derived from the Greek toxen meaning bow and philos meaning loving.

Turn: A term used to describe a bow that has a twist to right

or left of the string. Underboived: A bow having too little drawing weight for the


Unit: Fourteen targets of a field roving course.

Upshot: The last shot in an archery contest.

Vane: The web or flat expanded part of a feather. The flat extended plastic surfaces attached to a shaft to serve as fletching.

Wand: A wooden stick two inches wide, standing upright in the ground. Six feet in height. Used as a mark at which to shoot.

Weight: The weight in grains of an arrow. See also Drawing Weight.

Whip Ended: A bow which has limbs that are too weak at the tips.

Whipping: See Serving.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of PVC Pipes?

PVC pipe is primarily used for conveying water and waste water. It is a durable product that can be welded using solvents, heat and o-rings. Different formulations are used for different applications. The one used in almost all home irrigation and plumbing is typically white and is designed for potable use. There is a specific interior type that can be used for hot and cold water. White PVC is also used for sanitation conveyance from the home to a respective disposal method (Septic or municipal) it also can be used for potable water, if you want to run three or four inch water pipe.

Advantages of plastic pipes:

Plastic pipes are light in weight, tough, resistant to chemical attack and available in large lengths.

They reduce the cost of handling, transportation and installation.

Less number of joints facilitates the speed and reduces chances of leakage.

They are rust resistant.

These pipes have good elastic properties.

Their adaptability to earth movements is superior.

Smooth internal surface of the pipes offer less friction.

Due to less friction it saves the energy in the conveyance of water.

Disadvantages of plastic pipes:

Due to their non-decomposing property, plastic pipes are not installed in high temperature.

They are easily cracked.

At higher temperatures, the strength of plastic pipes reduces.

It estimated that many people want to know are PVC water supply pipe safe?

PVC/CPVC – rigid plastic pipes similar to PVC drain pipes but with thicker walls to deal with municipal water pressure, introduced around 1970. PVC should be used for cold water only, or venting. CPVC can be used for hot and cold potable water supply. Connections are made with primers and solvent cements as required by code.

Yes, they are safe.

Modern PVC should be fine, probably better than copper. There are many forms of PVC out there and yes some of them do contain harmful plasticizers, but these are used to make them softer (such as cling film, or glad wrap wherever you are from to wrap food in). Under heat and in contact with fatty foods like cheese these will migrate.

PVC piping however these days is just PVC.

Get a filter jug and just filter your drinking water, as there are much more contaminants which could enter your water before reaching the apartment and it tastes better too.

For more pipe information on pvc drainage pipe and water supply pipe, you can go online for more information. Look forward to explore with you.

Top 5 Dishwasher Failures

Dishwashers have become a necessary household item. If your dishwasher is working fine then you won’t have to worry about the stack of dirty dishes lying in your sink and can go about your other household chores. However, dishwashers can become a real pain for you if they keep on failing after every few uses. You might not know this but dishwasher failures are a pretty common sight. Fortunately, the reason for the failures is more often than not a small issue which can be fixed without having to call the repairman every time. Let’s have a look at the top 5 dishwasher failures and how you can fix them yourself.

Water at the Bottom of the Dishwasher

One of the most common dishwasher failures is having water at the bottom of the dishwasher. It is encountered most often after you have used the dishwasher a few times. The cause for this dishwasher failure is the clogging of the drain. This is the reason why the water remains at the bottom of the dishwasher and can’t be drained off. Chicken bones, foils and other items are usually responsible for clogging the drain. If you have the habit of putting your dishes inside the dishwasher without clearing off these items then you will encounter this issue quite often. The best way to fix this issue is to unclog the drain by emptying the dishwasher and cleaning its filter.

Dishes Remain Dirty

You place all your dirty dishes in the dishwasher and turn it on and go about doing other chores. On your return you find that the dishes are still dirty. This will obviously make you feel infuriated and you will think that the dishwasher is malfunctioning big time. The simple problem in such a scenario could be a clogged hose, nozzle or sprinkler. In order to clean the nozzle or hose, you should plug out the power supply of the dishwasher and empty the water from it. Clean all the holes according to the instruction manual and then re-wash your dishes. If everything appears to be clear and the problem continues, then the issue could be with the water heater. Dishes could remain dirty if water is not hot enough to melt the fat.

Glasses Remained Stained

When you put your dirty dishes and glasses in the dishwasher, you expect them to be gleaming when washed. This is mostly the case; however, if you find that your glasses are not shining as usual it does not necessarily mean that your dishwasher is functioning improperly. It simply can be a problem of the water being used to wash the dishes. In order to check the issue, place your glasses in vinegar for about five minutes. If the glasses become crystal clear and shine as usual it implies that the issue is because of hard water. You can simply put more dish washing detergent to ensure clearer glasses in future. In case, this is not the issue, the problem can also arise if the water used for washing the glasses is extremely hot. Another reason can be the use of excessive detergent while washing dishes.

Door Leakage

Door leakage is one of the most infuriating dishwasher failures that can cause you a lot of headaches. If your dishwasher is leaking from the door, you should first check whether a dish is stopping your door from locking completely or not. If the dishes are completely fine, it may mean that the door does not completely fit. In order to solve the issue, you can use a tool to slightly screw or unscrew the bolt until it completely fits into its place. Another problem which can cause your dishwasher to leak from the door could be the rubber which is around your door. If nothing helps, you can change the rubber to solve the issue.

Noisy Dishwasher

Another one of the most common failures of dishwashers that are frequently encountered by people is that they start making a lot of noise during operation. A noisy dishwasher can be extremely hard to bear for users especially those who like peace and quiet. Usually the main culprits for making noise are the fan or blades of the dishwasher’s motor. If they are damaged, they can produce a lot of noise while the dishwasher motor is running. The best way to take care of this issue is to inspect the blades and fan regularly and change them immediately if you find them damaged.

What is the Difference Between Laser Dentistry and Drill Dentistry

Decayed tooth enamel and gums are common problems among children and older people. Traditional dentistry used enamel scissors, drills, rotary tools and cleaning brushes to treat these problems. There are two types of devices that are currently used in dentistry to remove decay from teeth, one is the Dental Drill and the other is the Dental Laser.

Dental drill or drill dentistry is the most common and traditional technology. This device uses hard metal alloy bits. These metal bits are available in various shapes and sizes as a useful attachment for different applications. Most of them are made with steel within tungsten carbide coating. Earlier dentist drills were slow in speed – around 3000 rpm – but today’s drills are much more advanced and can rotate at 800,000 rpm. But these drills can give you chills and cold sweats as they make physical contact with your teeth. This technique is not very comfortable but it’s also not too costly. The dental drill is still an essential part of every dentist’s equipment. Some high-speed dental drills may cause a smudge layer, which is a layer of dead organic material.

The latest technology used in dentistry is the ‘Laser’. A Laser is a device that emits energy in the form of amplified light. This amplified light is used to cut tissue and teeth. This light is transmitted at different wavelengths for different targets including enamel, gum tissue, decayed teeth, and whitening enhancement. Laser dentistry is an FDA (Food and Drug Association) approved technology and it has also received ADA (American Dentist Association) seal of acceptance, which assures the safety of this technology. Most dentists use lasers only for tooth decay, gum problems, and lesion removal. Lasers can also be used to detect cavities. NASA Langley research center has stated that two major wavelengths for dentists can be produced using the same hardware resulting reduced cost and complexity. Waterlase laser is the first laser approved by FDA for cutting hard tissue.

The major advantage of a dental laser compared to a dentist drill is that it causes no vibration and no pain. It does not require any anesthesia. It can target a specific portion without disturbing the surrounding area. Bleaching and swelling are also reduced and the patient feels comfortable and at ease. Currently lasers are used for recon-touring or re-shaping gums. Dental lasers are quite safe and are an effective procedure for treating dentistry in children and adults.

No doubt, laser dentistry offers numerous important improvements over the dentist drill and also eliminates the common complaints of traditional dentistry. But laser dentistry has some disadvantages. For example, laser dentistry may not be used for teeth where previous filling has been done. It also cannot be used to fill cavities located between teeth, or shape or polish the filling. Laser is also not suited for large cavities that need to be prepared for a crown. Even though laser dentistry has some limitations it is by far the best dentistry for a patient’s comfort. As per a patient’s condition and requirements, your dentist can help you choose which is best for you.

What You Don’t Know About Wasps

Wasp Behaviour and Factual Information

The family vespidae is a considerable and diverse group, made up of over 6000 species that are found throughout the world with more species being discovered every year. The social wasps within this family live cooperatively in a nest that is referred to as a colony. This colony will be made up of females – the Queen and her female workers or daughters. All UK are all clearly identifiable by there black and yellow/orange warning decoration designed so it would appear to help predators learn quickly that these insects are not as tasty as they might seem although badgers in particular do not seem to care, and enjoy the opportunity of the tasty treat that the freshly excavated nest represents in terms of wasp grubs.

How a Wasp Nest Starts

Most UK social wasp colonies begin in the spring when the hibernating queen is triggered to emerge by the warmth of the first mild days of spring. At this time of year the newly emerged queen is at great risk as she lacks a nest to protect her from late frosts and until she has fully recovered from her long sleep is lethargic and unable to fiercely defend herself. At this time of year she will also be one of the few large insects around so is an obvious target for predators such as birds. Ants are also predators of wasps and given the opportunity will attack them. Wasps however secrete a substance around the petiole or (the stalk that attaches the initial structure of the nest to whatever is supporting it) of the nest that acts as a repellent, preventing ants from taking advantage. Before the queen can begin laying eggs she first needs to regain her strength and ensure she gets the nutrition required to allow her egg laying organs to mature. She normally does this by aiding early pollination of plants as she consumes carbohydrate rich nectar and sap.

Why Wasps Choose a Nest Site

It is believed but not proven that wasps will return to the site of an old nest by the presence of a pheromone which is a bit like a form of chemical signature left by the structure or biochemical footprint of an old nest. It is generally accepted that wasps don’t use nests abandoned by previous colonies, with the exception of the Hornet (Vespa crabro) where verbal claims have been made that they will use an old nest, although the author has not seen written evidence of this.

What has been seen (in numerous loft spaces) is that wasps of a particular species do seem to nest in the same space year after year. Sometimes there will be a gap of some years, yet it is not uncommon to see clusters of nests that have the same characteristics of size and colour in loft spaces suggesting that the same species has nested in the same loft on subsequent occasions. Sometimes a new species will nest where other species have and at the same time, seemingly without upsetting one another, although they usually use different entry/exit points.

Depending on the preference of the queen, which may vary form one species to another in respect of most popular locations, a nesting site may be established in all manner of places. Some are subterranean (below ground) in disused rodent burrows or in naturally occurring hollows in trees or tree root systems. Others will nest in terrestrial nests (above ground) in structures such as houses, outbuildings, bird boxes and compost bins. Finally we have aerial nesters or those that prefer to nest in trees and shrubs or on the sides of structures – from guttering etc. Aerial and subterranean nests are often the most dangerous, and this is because unsupervised pets and children only discover there presence once they are literally on top of, or next to the nest.

When wasps are nesting in a confined or restricted space they will often what they can to enlarge it. Honey bees differ in this respect as they will simply try to find a better place to nest, but the wasp can ill afford this luxury and will simply excavate whatever is in the way. If the nest is resting against a ceiling or wall that is constructed of plaster board, the wasps will simply eat through it. often the sound they make as the excavate the wall will keep the occupants of the room awake and just before they thy penetrate the surface you can sometimes see a very feint brown stain, letting you know in most cases that all that separates you from them is a layer of paint.

Another reason for nesting in a particular place is believed to be linked with the odour produced by different species of structural timbers e.g. Cedar and Oak. It is thought that these timbers contain scents that act as a natural attractant to the queen just as it is believed that the workers collect nest building material from particular types of timber with different scents and properties which give each species of wasp a nest with distinctive colour, texture and shape. Wasp nests simply made from whatever material is most abundant and this is invariably chewed up (masticated) timber, mixed with water and saliva to form wood pulp – essentially paper. This is why social wasps are often referred to as the paper wasps. This material is very easy to collect and use and once dry is very, very resilient to prevailing climatic conditions. A nest in a tree can remain in place for some years before finally disintegrating and in lofts this process can take decades.

Non Timber Wasp Nest Materials

Many nests are located in areas that take advantage of non natural materials that would appear to offer strategic advantages in terms of shelter or strength. Whether this is by chance or by design remains the secret of the queen wasp.

In some species workers are not always so fussy with materials, and it is commonly seen that the nest of the median wasp will have blue or green streaks in its wall from the protective plastic material that covers the springs on children’s outdoor trampolines. Another common material is loft insulation. Some types of loft insulation lend themselves very nicely to wasp nest formation and provide the wasp nest with a degree of camouflage.

Wasp Nest Construction and Formation

The queen wasp will begin building her nest by first establishing a petiole or short supporting spindle on which to mount the first module or layer of hexagonal brood cells. This module is in the shape of a small disk divided into approximately sixteen hexagonal brood cells or chambers. This number can vary considerably but you get the idea.

Once the queen has constructed this and surrounded it in a thin outer shell it looks a little bit like a golf ball with colours ranging from grey to almost yellow depending on the timber used for the construction.

The next phase for the queen wasp is the laying of a single egg into the base of each new cell. Over the coming three to four weeks (depending on temperature and external conditions) the queen wasp will raise the developing larvae, feeding them on a diet rich in insect protein. She does this (and her emerging daughters or workers will also do this) by finding insects and insect larvae (caterpillars are popular) and injecting them with venom. The venom injected disables the prey by paralysis and allows the queen to dissect the prey as required. Caterpillars are often taken to the nest whole, but flying insects have the head, legs, wings and abdomen removed as the central unit of the body has the greatest protein concentrations as a result of containing the powerful muscles responsible for flight and articulation of the legs. These little nuggets of protein are brought back and fed to the developing brood. It has also been recorded that wasps will carry out a pest control service for cattle, horses and pigs by picking of flies and other parasites both from the body of the animals and from animal housing.

As the larvae pupate the queen is freed up to continue nest construction and as the first brood begin to emerge the queen immediately cleans empty chamber and lays another egg into it. As the brood grows the petiole is enlarged and yet another, larger horizontal layer or disk is created. Where the space is confined such as in wall cavities, subsequent layers may be created to fit the cavity.

Eventually the queen will only have the job of laying eggs and the nest will continue to mature. At full maturity the largest nests in the UK will contain anything from 20000 to 100000 wasps but will probably account for less than five percent of nests with most wasps nest populations in the region of 3000 to 10000. In some species such as the Hornet (Vespa crabro) this number will be far less, with only a few hundred individuals.

Climate plays a large part in population numbers in general. This is due to what might be termed the generation time in other words the time it takes for an egg to become an adult. In cold weather this could be four weeks, but in an exceptionally hot summer this could be only a week. The best conditions are hot with good amounts of rain as it produces an increase in flying insect numbers and ensures the nutritional needs of the nest are easily met.

Later in the year or as the colony matures, males will develop and leave the nest to mate. Males do not sting as they lack the modified ovipositor or egg laying tube that their mother and sisters posses. At the same time new queens will also be emerging generously equipped with a fully functional sting. Once mated they will normally go into hibernation where they will emerge to begin a new colony. In a mild year, social wasps in the UK will mature more quickly and the emerging queens will create a nest in the same year. This has been seen in a number of species in particular the median wasp (Dolichovespula media)

Social Wasps have a reciprocal relationship with the developing brood. As the wasp larvae are fed they are able to produce a sticky treat for the adults and this might be viewed as an adhesive that helps bond the loyalty of the adults to the larvae and indeed the colony as a whole.

Male wasps have elongated abdomens that lack a sting and are usually much more hairy than the females, and the colouration of a male hornet can be quite stunning.

How Wasps Defend The Nest

Social Wasps defend their nests aggressively if they are threatened or attacked just as other members of the order hymenoptera such as wasps and ants will. When a wasp stings you it releases a pheromone or chemical that quite literally marks you as the threat. This pheromone then alerts other members of the cast within the colony that the nest is being threatened and more wasps join the attack. If the nest has been primed in other words it has already been disturbed, e.g. by a football being kicked near it then wasps from the initial sortie, happy that the threat is gone will often rest on the outer surface of the nest. If the nest is then subsequently disturbed, the resultant response from the nest will often be significant and very, very fast.

Every wasp nest will vary in temperament, which means that the response from a nest to a given threat will vary depending on a number of key factors. You can for instance have two nests of the same species of wasp in different locations and one will respond very aggressively whilst the other will barely register your presence.

Factors that may serve to influence the wasps’ response include temperature, nest size and maturity. When it is hot the wasps will be operating at peak efficiency, and it would seem that as a nest approaches maturity and the number of workers decreases, the response decreases with it. So to summarise, every nest is different, but in general – stay well clear of nests in hot weather.

Wasps have what is termed a linear flight path, which means that they fly in a straight line, too and from the nest. When foraging for food the flight behaviour changes to non-linear. It has been observed that when a wasp has fed or acquired building material for the nest, it launches into the air and climbs vertically in a spiral to re-orientate itself – thus ensuring it knows it’s way back to the nest.

When you break the invisible linear flight path, too and from the nest, you immediately become a target. If you watch wasps leaving a nest they are very much on a mission and they will head out in different directions. As you get closer to the nest you begin to interrupt this flight pattern and if you get too close you will inevitably get stung.

The trick with wasps is not to panic. They are equipped with compound eyes very sensitive to movement and the more you wave your arms and move your body, the bigger the visual signature and thus threat you will become. The best thing is to back away slowly in a straight line as this creates the lowest visual movement signature.

Failing that, run like hell in a straight line as it is unlikely that they will be able to catch an adult with good mobility running at full tilt. When you run in a zigzag you simply cut down the distance covered so it makes you slower. It has been said that wasps can fly at 14 mph and most people can out perform this speed when their natural fight or flight reactions kick in.

When you get stung the wasp does not just inject venom it also releases a chemical that effectively marks you as the threat, allowing other wasps to attack with greater effect. The closer you are to the nest when this happens, the greater the chances are that other wasps in the colony will be alerted to the perceived threat you represent. Other factors that may influence the number of times you get stung might include, wind strength, the size of the nest entrance and the nests proximity to it, temperature and time of day.

The wasps on landing on the threat will often fix themselves onto the victim, clasping the skin etc with sharp spurs on the feet and rotate the abdomen, delivering multiple stings in a circular motion. They often attack directly towards the face although the median wasp will often fly above the threat and dive down onto the victim, delivering a single sting that punctures deep into the skin where they deliver the venom.

Remember the sting of the wasp is defensive and functional for subduing prey the honey bee on the other hand uses its sting only for defence so has a barb on the sting to keep in place. Sometimes if you leave a bee in place (although the usual reaction is to whack it) it can sometimes wriggle the sting free and fly of uninjured. A wasp on the other hand can sting as often as it likes as the sting is nothing less than a very effective hypodermic needle.

Remember The Value Of Wasps

it must be stressed that wasps are remarkable insects that form an integral part of the wider eco-system. Control of these insects is only required as a last resort – be kind to wasps and respect their space and chances are, they will be kind to you.