Wasps

Bald Faced Hornet

Bald Faced Hornet, Vancouver Island, BCBald faced hornets build large nests and defend them boldly, these hornets are a member of the wasp family. Although we call them hornets they actually are not a hornet but one of the many types of yellow jackets found in the pacific northwest. Read More….

 

 

Paper Wasp

Paper Wasp, Vancouver Island, BCIn North America, there are over 22 species of paper wasps. Paper wasps belong to the genus Polistes There are over 200 species of these wasps worldwide. They can measure up to 3.4 cm in length.  Read More….

 

 

Yellow Jacket Wasp

Yellow Jacket Wasp Nest, Vancouver Island, BCYellow jacket wasps can generate fear in people when they are seen hovering around a garden or an outdoor activity. This is particularly true of people who have previously experienced a sting. Outdoor picnics are usually visited by yellow jackets because of their attraction to the various foods there. Read More….

 

Paper Wasp, Vancouver island, BC
Paper Wasp, Vancouver island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

The wasp is a medium-sized flying insect that can be found all around the world. The wasp is known for its black and yellow markings, not unlike some bees. The wasp is found in all parts of the world, on every continent with only the polar regions being exempt. There are about 75,000 species of wasp worldwide.

The wasp has a powerful sting and one wasp can sting you several times. Some people react badly to these stings and some with allergies can find a wasp string to be fatal. Like many other insect species, the wasp is a social creature and as many as 10,000 can inhabit just one nest. The queen wasp is the only breeding female, and she builds the nest from a papery substance that is made up of chewed wood and plants.

Bald Faced Wasp, Vancouver Island, BC
Bald Faced Wasp, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

Wasps are omnivorous animals and therefore eat a mixture of plants and other animals. As with bees, the wasp prefers the sweeter plants and primarily eats nectar, fruits, and honey. Wasps also eat insects and even large caterpillars. Despite their bright colors to deter predators, wasps are eaten by a number of different animals around the world including birds, amphibians, reptiles, and various species of mammal.

The queen wasp lays her eggs inside the nest, which hatch in a number of days. When the wasp larvae hatch, they are cared for by the other wasps in the nest and begin to hunt for food to bring back to the nest. Wasps are known to travel nearly half a kilometer away from the nest in search of food. In the spring, wasps generally feed on plant nectar but in the fall, there is a change in the type of wasp that is feeding, species that collect carrion & meat increase while the non-carrion feeding wasps decrease. Try eating fried chicken outdoors in the fall, and you will understand.

Paper Wasp, Vancouver Island, BC
Paper Wasp, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

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