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Old 07-26-2014, 09:54 AM   #1
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Default Wasps 2014

Wasps are big and scary! But they are mostly harmless. Excellent pollinators of some plants, and can help to manage out some of the larger insects.

Wasps 2014-pollen-digger-wasps.jpg
Great Black Wasp (Sphex pensylvanicus), in the Digger Wasp family These 2 were tumbling with each other. Caught one coming in. I believe they are all black wasps, so the light color is from pollen, probably from Spotted Bee Balm.

Wasps 2014-sand-wasp-goldenrod.jpg
Sand Wasp (Bicyrtes quadrifasciatus). Cicada Killer Wasp is in this family. Need sandy soil for their nests.

Wasps 2014-pollen-sand-wasp-pokeweed.jpg
Four-toothed Mason Wasp (Monobia quadriden) with pollen on its back. On Pokeweed.

Wasps 2014-cerceris-fumipennis.jpg
Cerceris fumipennis, wood boring insect predator, including Emerald Ash Borer.
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Old 07-26-2014, 10:23 AM   #2
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As always beautiful photos rB. My neighbor pointed to a wasp nest I have in my shed overhang. He thought I should kill them. I said yes I know they are ok there. I have found wasps not to be aggressive at all. The only time they have stung me was when I was weeding and grabbed their nest not knowing it was there. Can't blame them for stinging me then.
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Old 07-26-2014, 05:50 PM   #3
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I just found an awesome link- Drkaae.com, Insect Civilizations, Chapter 18, Bees, Wasps and Ants. Very well written, lots of photos,

CHAPTER 18


I have a European hornet nest in my attic, eaves or maybe wall space. They are getting in and out through the gap between the eaves and brick wall. Now I agree with rockerBOO in general, in fact I am generally an advocate in favor of wasps, but these guys have to go, because of their location. The nest is in my second story, luckily, but over my front porch, not so luckily.

Wasps 2014-european-hornets-emerging-attic-nest.jpg

European hornets are interesting. They are the only hornets to fly at night, though they fly during the day as well. They come to lights at night, and bang themselves against windows at night. They eat a large number of flying insects, including mosquitos and flies, so can be considered beneficial, though I wonder if they are partly responsible for my smaller numbers of butterflies this year. They also come for sap and rotting fruit, and can be a pest of orchards. If you don't go near their nest, they are not aggressive, and that has been my experience. They do not reuse a nest the following year, and only the queen overwinters, but the nest can have thousands of hornets in it by autumn.

I have a call in to a professional exterminator. These guys have a bad rep for being difficult to evict.

(rockerBOO, there is a thread from the past two years called "Wasps, the unpopular pollinators" or something like that, started by me, if you want to look at past photos. We needed a new thread for this year, thank you for starting a bunch of threads in this forum. It is my favorite, if you can't tell!)
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Old 07-27-2014, 05:33 PM   #4
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I planted blueberry next to the mountain mint, and now it is inside of the mountain mint. Tested out going for the blueberries and all the wasps went away. Too bad for taking photos!

Wasps 2014-great-golden-digger-wasp.jpg
Great Golden Digger Wasp

Wasps 2014-thread-waisted-wasp.jpg
Thread Waisted Wasp

Wasps 2014-sand-wasps.jpg
Sand Wasps
Bug Eric: Wasp Wednesday: Bicyrtes
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Old 07-30-2014, 05:22 PM   #5
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Wasps 2014-parasitic-wasp.jpg
Parasitic wasp. Don't know the species yet, but was checking out the leaves on a river birch.

Wasps 2014-potter-wasp-eumenes-fraternus.jpg
Potter wasp

Quote:
Eumenes fraternus is a species of potter wasp in the subfamily Eumeninae of the family Vespidae. It is native to the eastern United States and Canada. The female builds a miniature pot out of mud in which it lays an egg and places a live caterpillar. Its developing larva feeds on this whereas the adult wasp feeds primarily on nectar.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eumenes_fraternus
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Old 07-30-2014, 05:57 PM   #6
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Here is another photo of one of our Little Mothers, a Great Golden Digger Wasp. Did I post the Northern Paper Wasp on here elsewhere? I cannot remember. One of the children told me the Paper Wasp nest is gone. I suspect a storm did it in.

A paper wasp (not sure which type) has built a nest in an unused nesting box. I am not thrilled about that, but will leave it alone. Like many birds, I heard the next generation comes back the following year to where they hatched. I am not quite as read up on wasps as I am birds, but found that tidbit some place. It could be wrong, I do not know.
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Old 07-30-2014, 07:25 PM   #7
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Most wasps do not come back to the same nest the following year. Only the queen overwinters, the rest of the nest die off. That being said, they seem to come back to the same area, or at least they seem to really like to hang in front of my garage door despite my ongoing efforts to dissuade them.

These are potter wasp pots from a few years ago, this is a photo I have posted before but the newcomers may not have seen it. I have E. fraternus commonly on my property, though I also have other potter and mason wasps and can't swear whose these are!
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Wasps 2014-potter-wasp-pots-open.jpg  
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Old 07-30-2014, 09:05 PM   #8
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that's a cool picture turttle. I have never seen them.
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birding Bunch View Post
Here is another photo of one of our Little Mothers, a Great Golden Digger Wasp.
Cool! Looks like he's posing for a muscle shot!
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Old 08-04-2014, 02:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by havalotta View Post
Cool! Looks like he's posing for a muscle shot!
LOL, you're right... She is one tough lady. I've withheld watering my dill not wanting water to get in the holes.
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