Aberdeen museum forced to shut by ‘explosion’ of wasps

The hall was invaded by an "explosion" of wasps
The hall was invaded by an "explosion" of wasps

There was a sting in the tail for a community museum when it opened its doors and was promptly invaded by some unexpected visitors.

Volunteers at St Peter’s Heritage Trust, which operates the Culter Heritage Centre, were forced to close the centre after the “explosion” of wasps.

Warm weather over the Easter weekend was blamed for the infestation – which happened in the space of just 15 minutes and resulted in the museum being closed to visitors.

The Culter Heritage Museum

Trust chairman Callum Stuart said he was disappointed to close early on Saturday, but there was no other option.

It’s hoped the centre – which celebrates Peterculter’s history and culture, and boasts a number of unique artefacts – will be able to reopen later in the week.

Callum said: “It quite literally happened in 15 minutes. The unusually warm afternoon on Saturday seemed to trigger an explosion of very young wasps and we had to close the museum slightly earlier.

“As the warm weather continued on Sunday, we had to keep the museum closed for the safety of the visitors.

“We will hopefully be able to get this rectified before the weekend.”

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Callum added that he believes the age of the St Peter’s Church building, which houses the museum, could have contributed to the problem.

But he vowed to ensure that the centre would be safe for future visitors.

He added: “It is a very old building and obviously very attractive to the local wildlife. I think the unusually warm weather has encouraged the early appearance of this population.

“We have a duty to make sure everyone is safe and we will get the vents and roof checked so that we make a reappearance more difficult.”

Insects on the window of the Culter Heritage Museum

Wildlife expert Kevin Newell, who owns Humane Wildlife Solutions, said: “The best thing to do in this situation is to stay well clear of the area.

“Particularly when it’s in a public place, the best course of action is to keep people away from the area because you don’t know how people may react to being stung.

“It is always best to call a professional rather than trying to deal with the problem yourself.”

Scottish SPCA chief superintendent Mike Flynn said: “We would always recommend the use of a professional pest control company which would offer the most humane solution to any infestation.”