I'm always a sucker for a free event, so I've been seriously considering flying to Tel Aviv for a special course on the Biological Control of Eucalyptus Gall Wasps. It's being heavily promoted in banner advertising on the Jerusalem Post website at the moment and promises to be one of the biggest things in agro-forestry for quite some time. "Registration and tuition are free of charge," according to the promotional blurb. "The organizers will cover the cost of travel during the course, between the hotel and the meeting location and on field trips." All I have to do is get myself to Ben Gurion Airport.
It all sounds too good to be true and, sadly, it is. Looking more closely, the training actually took place in November. If I'd paid for the airfare, I would have ended up getting stung.
I'm simply left reflecting on what might have been. Just take a look at this promise from the people running the session:
"At the end of the course the idea is sending the participants home with parasitoids. Those who wish to take with them back home the package with eucalyptus galling material harbored with the parasitoids are kindly requested to bring with them to Israel the official permit for the importation."