Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tiger Wasp Nests Form New Security System for Temple

Photo Courtesy of The Nation Group

KALASIN, TH – At Wang Kam temple, monks attracted several tiger wasp nests to safeguard the temple from robbers after valuables like old Buddha statues and donation boxes.

The temple and its new security system are located on the outskirts of town, parallel to the mountains. Only ten monks reside within the monastery.

A reporter arrived at the temple to inspect the nests of these ‘security’ wasps – around 20 were found – some were near the monks’ sleeping areas; others were in the main hall and monastery. Each nest is full of tiger wasps buzzing in large numbers.

Euen Phansri, 67-years-old, the caretaker of the temple said that valuable treasures such as Buddha statues, accessories, donation boxes and other sacred items passed down from ancient Laos are irreplaceable.

As antiques, the items are worth a great sum and naturally, has become the target for many thieves. The temple has been robbed several times.

The monks knew something had to be done. A board was formed to deal with temple security; an innovative solution was raised and agreed upon; unusual tactics were soon implemented. At first the monks only grew a few nests, but as villagers began visiting the temple, more and more were donated.

No less than 20 occupy the temple. Villagers would go out at night to find newly formed hives, using cotton buds to block openings, and trap wasps inside. They would then hang the nests around the temple, pull out the cotton buds, and let the wasps expand their nests.

The strangest thing is that the tiger wasps do not attack monks or villagers who come to the temple with good deeds - but instantly assault robbers and people who come without paying respects or who do not bow when entering the temple. Many people have been stung for misbehaving.

Robbers coming to rob the monastery have been stung to near death.

The tiger wasps have certainly drawn much attention from religious practitioners, common villagers, and the media.

For my own home, I am now considering installing a wasp nest instead of a crappy, state of the art, two thousand dollar spot light/motion sensor alarm system. God knows it's cheaper.

Writer: Adrian Tse & Chet Chetchotisak

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