Fall at Concord Academy means new textbooks, frantic rushing to get to class across the Quad, the start of sports, cramming into the Chapel, Club Expo, and Family Weekend. This year, it also means wasps. From eating outside the back of the Stu-Fac to doing homework on the Quad, it seems like these pesky insects are everywhere. 

Speculations toward the cause of these nuisances have been made; however, their sudden appearance this time of year remains mostly a mystery. Anisa Brown ’26 hypothesizes that perhaps the root of the problem is a certain plant or bush found on campus, which attracts the wasps, recalling, “I was walking to the train the other day, and I saw a wasp nest in a tree, and I realized there must be so many of these nests all over the place.” Freshman English and Sophomore English teacher Zora Vermilya notices the reappearance of wasps as well, mentioning that they are quite frequently outside the Stu-Fac, especially in recent weeks.

While they appear to be generally harmless, many students and faculty at CA have noted that the increasing wasp population is a disturbance to their day-to-day experience. Besides being an inconvenience to the everyday lifestyle of those at CA, wasps can be dangerous and even deadly for some. Both Anisa and Vermilya are allergic to these pests, and they certainly are not the only ones whose heart rates rapidly increase or whose chests tighten whenever they hear the familiar buzzing. For those who do not have a severe allergy, wasps are merely an annoyance, but for others, they can be incredibly scary. Vermilya admits, “[Their presence] makes me a little jumpy because I’m allergic. It’s also a bummer because who doesn’t love to sit outside in the fresh air?” In the meantime, for those who are aware that wasps can lead to more extreme conditions than just a sting, it may be more safe and careful to stay inside the Stu-Fac at lunch, at least until they disappear for the season.

Thankfully, these beady-eyed insects have short lifespans, and it can be expected that the population will continue to shrink come late fall and early winter, as the harsher weather conditions pose a threat to most of the creatures’ survival. The general mating habits of wasps tend to be that males will mate with the queen in autumn, and once winter arrives, female wasps will hibernate while male wasps, having served their duty, die. Females will then lay their eggs in the spring. Wasps generally live in large colonies or in nests, which have been spotted throughout Concord. The new generation of offspring from last spring is likely what is swarming CA’s campus at this time.  

On the upside, wasps help the local ecosystem through pollination, prey on other insects, and regulate pest populations through competition. If you happen to stumble upon these fellows, you can just remind yourself that while they may be a bother, they are just another reminder of that winter is coming, and they will soon be out of your lives.