30th August 2018

If you wonder why worker Wasps go for our sweet things at this time of year, it is because, up till mid-summer they have been emerging from their nests to find soft-bodied invertebrates, like caterpillars, aphids, spiders etc. They can’t digest these themselves because their ‘wasp-waists’ are too narrow, so they chew them up and feed them to the larvae, laid by the Queen in cells in the nest. In exchange, they eat the sugary excretion from the larvae, but as summer goes on the Queen stops laying, the larvae grow into fertile males and females which leave the nest, to mate, and the workers go hungry. They then feed on tree-sap and rotting fruit, which sometimes intoxicates them, causing them to act unpredictably! Of course, they also then turn up on our sugary snacks, before dying off,

Wasp

Wasp flying

Wasp showing their large club-antennae

but remember what a role they have had earlier in the year, preying on pests and parasites throughout the country. Conditions: Lovely warm and sunny intervals. Temperature: Max 20 Min 9 C.

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