bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Wasp questions

Wasps, again. A much maligned insect that I quite admire. It's that time of year when they make their presence known here. As I understand it they collect aphids and protein to feed their brood for the first part of the year -- and we never notice them. I believe that they get a sweet substance from the brood in return. Then, when the brood declines, they have seek their sweeties elsewhere -- and suddenly we notice them.

Today I brought some of the honey harvest back to the garden and the wasps noticed immediately -- the small bee colony in the garden hasn't realised yet.

But I'm puzzled by two things: how do wasps manage to squeeze through the tiniest cracks that honeybees fail to penetrate? And what do they do with all that sweetness they forage -- is it gathered for the collective good and do they share it with other wasps, or are their apppetites just insatiable? I've never come across a really good wasp book, so all comments welcomed.


Blogger Cat said...

Yellow Jacket are vespids (subfamily Vespinae)and found all over the US and feed their young caterpillars parts. Once the nesting is done they go to town and will invade trash cans, dip into your ice-cream, or sip your soda and sweets. They are mostly black with yellow markings. If you get stung by one.......ouch.

Another wasp also a vespid (subfamily masarinae) has a very narrow waste and feeds it's young pollen and nectar. They occur in warm countries. This type of wasp is narrower than the average honey bee. Do you have a physical description?

12:57 am  
Blogger Turlough said...

Here's a link to a picture of the wasp — Vespula vulgaris.

10:57 pm  
Blogger Cat said...


The link won't work for me.


1:58 am  

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