Saturday, 7 May 2011

Des res for wasps?


It's all go in the Leeds insect world. Moths are getting abundant, our garden butterfly count for this year is up to nine and now we've got this, above, in our shed. We had one last year on a sash window and it didn't get a lot bigger, which makes me think that it can't be a fully-fledged wasps' nest. It's definitely something to do with wasps, though. Penny was photographing it when a large one emerged from the hole. You can make it out below the nest in the picture, a bit blurred cos of the lighting level, and also its shadow below the nest's. Quite an artist, is P. So is it an egg-laying base, a sort of incubator? Or does it belong to someone else, with the wasp a nosy predator?

Meanwhile, here's what maybe another sort of wasp - the Vespa scooter sort, vespa being the Italian for wasp and Vespas making a menacing buzz. Actually this may well be a Lambretta, but either way it shows that photographic composition is not a Penny exclusive. The little face in the top left hand mirror is my younger son's, on our recent sunny day in Scarborough (see post a few below). I have to admit, though, that this happened quite by chance.

3 comments:

Bill Ely said...

The wasp you saw is a queen, which is the only one to survive the winter. After hibernation she contructs the small nest you saw and makes a handful of cells. She lays an egg in each one and feeds the developing grubs on caterpillars and other insects. The workers which hatch from these cells then take over most of the work and the queen remains in the enlarging nest. The vast number of insects a wasp nest consumes makes them very gardner-friendly.

Bill Ely said...

The wasp you saw is a queen, which is the only one to survive the winter. After hibernation she contructs the small nest you saw and makes a handful of cells. She lays an egg in each one and feeds the developing grubs on caterpillars and other insects. The workers which hatch from these cells then take over most of the work and the queen remains in the enlarging nest. The vast number of insects a wasp nest consumes makes them very gardner-friendly.

Martin said...

Hi Bill

Thanks so much - how interesting. We will watch developments with close attention. I've just been photographing a hornet which further bears out my impression that insects are on the rampage here.

I much appreciate your expertise, as does Penny

Warm wishes

Martin