Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Paper Wasps

paper wasp collecting wood fiber

Sitting outside on our patio, these yellow and black wasps are regular visitors. They are a little annoying buzzing around, and make you a little nervous about being bitten. I hadn't really paid attention to what they were up to until recently, when I realized the regular visits were to collect wood fiber from our weathered table. They use the fiber to build their gray paper like nests.

Next time I took my coffee outside I brought a camera. Eventually I had a visitor. They become quite occupied once they start harvesting which allowed me to take lots of photos. I took stills and video with my new Sony RX10m3 and my Nikon 7200 + macro lens. Both did a reasonable job. Up close the wasps are actually quite attractive with their glossy black and bright yellow.

paper wasp

Once you watch them closely you notice that they gradually back up as they harvest, leaving a differently color stripe on the wood, about an 1/8 of an inch wide and 3/4 of an inch long. Then I realized the whole table top was marked up this way!

I couldn't really tell where the fiber was going. Were they swallowing it to later regurgitate? Once I looked at the photos and video on the computer I could see they were just collecting a ball of fiber that they then carried away. It's hard to see because they collect it under their body. Here's a shot that shows it:

paper wasp collecting wood fiber

You can also see it in the last clip of this video.

See all 7 photos

No comments:

Post a Comment