Recently I wrote a blog investigating how eating bugs could be good for the planet. Now that the wasp season is here and nests are growing like topsy on trees, bushes and properties could wasp larvae be the next big thing in organic farming? With a bit of rebranding wasp larvae could be the new caviar. Because wasp larvae is high in protein and low in fat, skinny celebrities would be swarming to feast off such organic delicacies and thus propel wasp larvae onto the shelves of the very finest food halls along with Beluga and Sterlet.
By late summer, wasps nests can be as big as four foot. A family of four could dine off the larvae for weeks, though I’m not sure how long the larvae keeps fresh for.
Most commercial fish farmers extract the caviar from the mature spawning female sturgeon via a c-section then stitch up the wound to keep the sturgeon alive. This allows the females to continue producing more roe during their lives. Wasp larvae harvesting is rather more hazardous, though no more so than collecting honey.
Wasp Larvae For Supper
If, like me, you’re not sure how to cook wasp larvae BBC presenter and bug eating master Ray Mears provides a cookery lesson straight from the rainforest.
In this YouTube video from the hit BBC series Extreme Survival, a wasp nests has been discovered. Ray Mears is hot on the case. He dons a bee keepers outfit stating that a “sting from a tropical wasp could prove fatal” and pursues two natives into the jungle dressed in shorts and t-shirts.
The natives want the larvae, a valuable food source. They expertly smoke out the wasps which make a creepy sound as they suffocate and pop, a bit like the opening sound track to The Shining. The nest is taken apart shelf by shelf, the white larvae shaken out and roasted.
Ray Mears tastes the larvae, “it has an indistinct taste. It’s pretty soft.. a bit eggy.”
Hmm, I prefer my eggs well done, and I don’t like caviar either. And as for the smoking, this is a hazardous technique which Rentokil does not use, as it can create an angry swarm of wasps. We treat wasps nests with insecticide which poisons all the adult wasps and larvae so you’ll be less likely to get another nest. Needless to say that renders the larvae inedible too.
If you spot a wasp this summer record it on the UKWaspWatch map or tweet the postcode to @UKWaspWatch