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This wasp nest likely belongs to a very large colony of bald faced hornets. They are good predators for a garden. Caution though, if these critters are disturbed, they can leave a nasty sting. Photo by Giovanni J.
It is right in the middle of the mason bee season now. Stores have stocked up with product and individual customers buy from us direct. When it is so busy, I do collect stories with pictures on a daily basis for this blog. I have some catching up to do! Here is one of these stories from Larry.
We are cleaning our bee condo, and it appears as if we had a few of the
cocoons that had opened and there is larvae in them. Are they dead? Also, they seem to be larger that the the cocoons that are still intact (and which we have cleaned to remove mites, etc.)
My first response was to ask for a photo.
“Yes- please send a picture. It sounds like you have some beneficial wasps.”
Then I received this picture, it confirmed that this is a beneficial wasps. What is neat about these insects is that different species collect different live food items for their young. They either collect and feed their young with spiders, moth grubs or aphids. If one of the wasp eggs did not develop, there might be evidence of the kind of wasp is growing in the nesting tunnel.
This grub or pupae still has a lot of developing to go through before it is an adult. Further development starts when spring temperatures are on the rise.
These grubs are very fragile. I usually leave them in their nesting tunnel, remove mason bee cocoons in the remaining nesting tunnels, close the nest up and set it outside again.
|Beneficial wasp pupae. The brown part is the head capsule.|
Ground nesting bees usually emerge in June when soil temperatures increase from the cooler spring temperatures. These bees are often more than a foot down in the ground. Usually one bee uses one entrance, but in some species a few bees use the same entrance, but different nesting tunnels.
This aggregation is in a school yard ( Burnaby, BC). When Alie told me about it, she showed me the area adjacent to a small fence. the kids came out for a show and tell, and they were fascinated. Anyone know the type of bee?
The soil is quite hard in this area and when the sun shines, the ground is always in the sun. if you look closely, you can see little mounds of earth deposited by the emerging bees. The scale becomes a little clearer when you see the children’s feet in the area. When all the children were back in their class, I checked out to see the scope of the area. It was quite large (10 x 10 m or 30 x 30 feet).
A neighbour of mine reminded me of the local ground nesting bees at her school. Some pictures were taken and we should be able to get them identified.