2012 July August

The Great Lakes Proving of Vespula vulgaris nest

by Matilde Flores

The proving took place in Maynard, MA on October 1st 2011.

The remedy was prepared from a piece of yellow jacket paper nest. The substance was collected in British Columbia and the species identified as Vespula vulgaris by Michael G. Shepard, R.P.Bio.

There were five provers, one male and four females, ages forty nine to sixty, and three observers/supervisors. The complete Great Lakes Proving Protocol was followed.

Because the source of this remedy is the nest of an insect the proving will reflect aspects of the insect and the entire expression of the nest. The life cycle of the insect is contained within the nest, a fact that makes the nest and the wasp an inseparable unit. 

Natural History

Vespula vulgaris, the common wasp, known in the US and Canada as yellow jacket, is a eusocial insect found in the Northern Hemisphere. It has been introduced to Australia and New Zealand.

Its natural habitat is dry grasslands and woodlands, but it easily adapts to urban environments.

Eusocial aspect

The term eusociality is defined as a group of individuals living in a cooperative manner where one female and several males in the group are reproductively active and the non-breeding individuals (the working caste) care for the young, protect and provide for the group.  This condition allows the eusocial groups to be biologically successful.

Nest building/Caste

The nests are built in the ground, attached to branches, under porches, in cracks in structures, or in the wall or ceiling of a building.

The raw material for the nest is a paper-like substance produced by the wasp from wood fibers that are chewed and mixed with saliva.

A yellow jacket queen begins building the nest in the spring. She feeds the larvae from the juice of masticated insects and continues to build the nest until enough adult workers emerge to take over the work of foraging for the colony, brood care, nest expanding, maintenance and defense.  At this point the queen’s only job is reproduction. Until the end of the summer the colony consists of a queen and a number (sometimes thousands) of sterile female workers


Social wasps reproduce by mating between a fertile queen and one or several males. The male sperm cells are stored inside the queen in a dormant state until needed the following spring when she starts building her nest.

The queen controls the release of sperm for each individual egg as it is laid, thus having voluntary control over the sex of her offspring.  Female eggs are fertilized while male eggs are not.

At the end of the summer, the eggs produced will develop into reproductive females and male drones.  The male drones fly out of the nest and find a mate.  The young queens mate in the vicinity of their nest and will leave the nest at the onset of winter to find a sheltered location to hibernate.  The rest of the colony dies off and the old nests are not used again.

Predatory/Aggressive behavior/Scavenging/Survival

Adults need food rich in sugars: fruit and flower nectar.  The larvae feed on proteins: insects and meat.  The workers chew and condition the protein for the larvae; in exchange the larvae secrete a material high in sugar that the adults need. As the colony expands the need is greater, potentially disrupting the ecosystems as they compete with other pollinators. Wasps scavenge in garbage cans or around humans eating at picnics, changing their food preferences to sodas, meats or ripe, decaying fruit.

They can use their stinger several times when threatened, but they kill their prey by biting rather than stinging them.

Proving Themes:


Vespula uses its own body fluids in the form of saliva for nest building and in food conditioning for the larvae.  A water source is always near the nest. Water was literally everywhere at the time of the proving due to recent severe weather conditions.

The themes of dreams and visions were: using water as a means of defense/aggression, a garden with beautiful waterfall, being upset at a neighbor who was dirtying the pool with debris, floating blissfully in a pool looking into the ocean, being on a boat and realizing that the water is rising but not alarmed, rather having fun.

Sex/Questioning Sexuality

All provers experienced heightened sexual feelings. 

A female prover wrote in her notebook the letter M to indicate male. The same prover felt that women were attracted to her sexually and she asked: “Do I look gay to you?”  She talked about a book on same sex relationships that focused on lesbian relationships. The next day she woke up thinking of a fellow she is attracted to, considering the idea of multiple partners and wrestling with the morality of it.

She had a “serious discussion with lesbian client (she was in denial of her lesbianism…but expressing her full love for a woman).  Unable to admit to being a lesbian because her religion forbids homosexuality, yet extremely conflicted and torn about her marriage to her husband.”

In the area where the trituration took place there is a painting depicting two women (I always assumed they were mother and daughter) under a tropical tree offering each other the fruit of the tree (guava).  One prover asked:  “Is that painting a take on the Garden of Eden? Like the Garden of Eden for gay people?  You know, two women with two snakes?” The guava fruit was painted in a way that look like snakes.)

A third prover: “This is the fountain of youth remedy.” Sex constantly on her mind.

Sexual dreams:

- With same sex partners.

- Questioning if heterosexual friend was in homosexual relationship.

- Of parents “cheating” on former spouses.

- Old male boyfriend and female friend with beautiful V-shaped muscular, perfect bodies.

- Males and females, fused just above the legs with bodies angled like an “X”, are line dancing. I feel warmth and swelling from my partner whom I don’t know...He’s a man, he cannot help it.

Prejudice/Assuming Prejudice

-“How to deal with prejudice?” 

- Denying being clairvoyant to avoid people’s reaction and disapproval.

- Assuming prejudice from police, made a wide circle to avoid them while going to Occupy Boston.


- Children from Taiwan on the train...we speak in Chinese. They show amazement because others have treated them with prejudice.

- I look over to neighbor’s yard. There are some people from North Africa. They look back at me, worried that I might be prejudiced.

Hidden and Secret

- Wanting to be camouflaged, feeling invisible and wanting to be invisible. 

- A secret so special, so disbelieved, and so misunderstood...when someone understands it, there is a sense of interconnectedness and belonging.

With another woman, furtively hiding behind the garage. I sneak around to enter the house and get lots of food.  Not sure if I am stealing. I return and tell the other woman that she does not need to go shopping.  A man is looking for us but we are well hidden.


A prover and two supervisors got news of two different friends diagnosed with cancer.  A man selling newspapers near one prover’s office was suddenly gone.  She was told that he died of throat cancer. At the bank a prover noticed an appeal for help: Mother of newborn twins just diagnosed with stage four breast cancer.

Friends who died of cancer are alive in her dreams.


Many people lost their homes and entire towns...survival was in the air.

- In the wilderness in a boat, a guy is tormenting us.  He is in a giant upside down hat, I am throwing water in it and he is sinking. I am just trying to protect us.  I don’t want to kill him.

- A prover’s son told her the story of a young woman who died in the recent flood.

- Weeping and sadness were expressed

Connection to the Group and Safety in the Group

- Feeling gratitude because I feel safe. My silence is from feeling comfortable and safe.

- I feel like a kid. I do not have to play with others. Sitting by myself in my own little world.

Authority/Trust only One Another

On Sept. 17, 2012 Occupy Wall Street (OWS) started in New York City and led to protests around the world.  The issues: Social and economic inequality, corruption and the influence of corporations on government. On October 5th OWS came to Boston. 

There are well-documented instances of police brutality against the ‘Occupy’ movement.

A prover’s two sons got trapped in the recent flood in Vermont while camping.  The police didn’t help them. A person who witnessed the interaction told them to go to the High School shelter.  A family at the shelter drove them home. “The biggest learning was to trust one another...the common people, not the police or the authority.”

A prover’s computer was stolen the day before the proving: “Going to the police was a waste of my time.”

“The Police are like my memory, not there when you need it.”

Drug State/Vortex of Energy

An aspect of the trituration had a drug quality to it: Staring into space; Staring and leaning sideways, making hand gestures of spiraling towards the colors on the tablecloth, talking about a vortex of energy;  sensations as if her limbs did not belong to her and as if floating in the air.

For some, this state continued throughout the proving: “Caught staring in wonder at the wet glistening grass...feels like after a deep meditative state of wonder and awe at nature... As if not myself...”

Visions and dreams also illustrated this state.

Jealousy and Aggression

- Jealous that husband has a mistress who is pregnant with his baby.  We went sailing. I intentionally tip the boat over and hold him down under water.  I brought him up and bit him on his face.

- Acting aggressively while playing tennis.

Other themes:

- Color and light – Strong and intense experience of colors

- Good outcomes

- Innocence and Child

- Hard Work/Productivity/Excess Activity

- Indisposed to Talk

- Animals

Physical Symptoms


Curative response to generalized chronic muscle tension/tightness

Feeling of being grounded, mellow and calm.

Cold body

Food: Craving salty, crunchy textures, water, sweets < spicy food


Pain: Headache at the onset of menses.

Left temple shooting, >pressure


Aching pain behind eyes

Eyes burning

Mild Photophobia to sun reflection on the ocean

Cross-eye gazing.


Sensitivity to noise


Nose dripping clear mucus.  Stuffed on R. sniffles




Regurgitation of food

Appetite increased



Pain (a chronic problem for the prover)


Dry Cough from a tickle


Increased heart beat

Sensation heart beating in abdomen

Heat in the middle of the sternum

Heart very “jumpy”


Lower back pain greatly ameliorated (curative)

Aware of spine.

Heat in spine

Tenderness in neck

Tense muscles in the back.

Sore base of the neck, vertebral ache arching head back.

Aching pain left cervical spine.

Neck pain < least motion.



Hot feet then cold.

Sudden icy coldness in feet.

Restless feet

Very aware of feet, a lot of energy in the feet.

Itching quite intense, must scratch- Inside lower leg:

Tingling in legs

Pain: Deep aching pain in right lower leg, almost numb.

Sharp aching extreme pain in left small toe >by flicking it.

Sharp stabbing pain left calf, woke her from sleep.

Cramp in the left calf so intense the leg felt deeply bruised afterwards


Itching in left arm with vesicular eruption

Numbness in fingers of left hand

Tingling left thumb and fingers

Pain: Back of hand, base of left thumb.

Darting, base of left index finger, palm side.

Darting, inner wrist, right.

Right elbow, on waking.

Left lower forearm, below elbow aching.


Refreshing (curative)

Insomnia – 12:30 to 3 am.


Tic bite

Itching and heat


This remedy holds big questions about our deepest social issues, attitudes and norms. We create expectations and prejudice around our perceptions, yet at times we find ourselves facing the fact that some things are not what they seem.  A policeman, a public servant, is perceived as someone who will help in times of crisis, but he has a different agenda and he holds some level of power.

A person might seem as having a sexual orientation...is that enough for us to know and assert they are of this or that inclination?

It is only homeopathically that a eusocial insect nest would flush out aspects of ourselves that we might want to keep hidden: how we deal with one another and how we look at ourselves as sexual beings.

Case in point is the issue brought up by the prover who had a “serious discussion” with the client she perceives as being homosexual. This remedy will probably benefit such a case where, considering what is at stake, no alternative remains but to keep the issue as hidden from oneself as possible. 

It is also remarkable that the “OWS” movement started at the same time of the proving, which brings to mind the acronym of WASP: White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, a somewhat derogatory term to describe high-status whites wielding disproportionate financial and social power. 

This remedy is available at www.helios.co.uk

Matilde Flores lives and practices in Maynard, Massachusetts

Wasp Nest, public domain; Wikimedia commons.
Lesbian Garden of Eden; Matilde Flores


Categories: Provings
Keywords: wasp nest, eusociality, questioning sexuality, homosexuality, prejudice, hidden, WASP
Remedies: Vespula vulgaris


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Matilde Flores
Posts: 3
nature of the wasp post 1 by Pam
Reply #2 on : Sun March 16, 2014, 13:51:15
Thank your for your comment! I am going to refer you to www.greatlakesprovings.com where you can read the whole proving. The Natural History is extensively researched and the section "Jealousy/Aggression" shows more of the aggressive quality. The article published in Interhomeopathy was a condensed version of the proving. All my best, Matilde
Posts: 3
nature of the wasp
Reply #1 on : Thu March 13, 2014, 05:21:35
I'm currently researching the nature and behaviors of yellow jacket wasps because i have a case i feel it could be the simillimum. My analysis is through Sankaran's sensation method. There's not much i could find through the traditional homeopathic resources to support the prescription.

In this proving of wasp nest there doesn't appear to be any of the wasps nature which is primarily aggressive.

The European wasp is highly caring to the young of the hive, and yet will viciously and repeatedly attack any threats made; even if those threats aren't really realistic.

would you expect that important aspect of the wasp nature to come through in a proving?