Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Day 212 - Wonderful Wasps

Possibly a Median wasp  (Dolichovespula media) on a Peony
Hi all today's Day 212 and around my garden, and everyone else's garden, there are some little yellow and black things that buzz around. Firstly, no not bees as I covered them yesterday. But like bees I am quite scared of these too. More-so than bees! I haven't seen many of these this year which I am quite happy about but the ones I do see I try to keep calm and not flail about as they'll think I'm a threat. I'm of course talking about Wasps.

So, here are the facts:

  • Firstly, Wasps have a clever defence mechanism. If they don't sting you and something or someone squashes it, then it emits are pheromone.
  • This is one that all other wasps in the area are attracted to and the pick the closest target to drive off by stinging them.
  • Unlike, bees who die after they sting you, wasps can sting as many times as they like. As bees have barbed stingers they get stuck in the skin.
  • This is unlike Wasps which have smooth stingers and can sting multiple times. Some wasps can be very vicious about this and will sting lots of times in the same place.
  • The Wasp I found is likely to be a Median Wasp which are the second biggest under the Hornet (though it might be the common wasp - but thought I'd go with Median for more interest and it was very big!) 
  • Median Wasps are pretty social but the queens are the least social as they nest on their own for half a year. These wasps can also be very viscous (I'm glad Dad took these photos :-)
  • This Wasp was probably visiting the same Cotoneaster as the bee yesterday as the Median Wasp Queens do this in the Spring. This one is photo'd next to the Cotoneaster on a Peony.
  • The first record of these scary insects was in 1982 but they are now quite wide-spread found as North as Northumberland.
Here are some links to more information:

And a Factsheet from New Zealand! (they get around these wasps!)

Hope you enjoyed,


1 comment:

  1. Amazing photos, as always! I'm not as fond of Wasps as I am of other insects. When I in my first year of university they always found their way into my room, and I'd have to find a tall glass to capture them and herd them back outside with. I try not to kill them, but I am very wary of them! - Tasha