Fascinating But Annoying

I was just outside on the deck and noticed something flying around the mason bee hotel. Since the tubes are almost all occupied I was curious who might be looking for a place to live. As I watched I saw a small wasp climbing around on the outside of the bamboo carefully inspecting them with her antennae. Then she assumed a rather arched posture and I assumed the worst.


Yup, somebody’s laying eggs! If you look closely you can count her six tan feet versus one black, evil (if you’re the poor, parasitized pupa inside) ovipositor.

Bamboo Crack

When I looked around the other side I could clearly see the crack she had discovered and was exploiting. It’s a flaw in the fortress that will probably cost more than one mason be his or her life. Bummer. Yet it’s fascinating. This makes me think I should be changing out the bamboo each year. Replacing it will not only lessen the occurrence of vulnerable cracks, but also reduce the buildup of parasitic mites.

Seems there’s always something going on.


8 thoughts on “Fascinating But Annoying

  1. Devillishly cunning wasp! But on the other hand, what does she eat? Perhaps, it is ridding you of some nasties that are eating your veggies? Would you sacrifice a few of your bees for that? Just a thought, as I have no idea if they do or not but I do know some wasps get rid of insect pests. Amelia

    1. Yes, who knows? I will see if I can find more information on them. In the meantime I noticed more of them going in and out of small holes in the mud plugs. These may be an earlier infestation hatching out to repeat the cycle. Again, fascinating.

  2. A Really Small Farm

    Seems like everything has something that eats it. What a bizarre shape to that wasp. The antennae are so thick that if I look at just them with the head there is a resemblance to a rabbit.

    1. Aren’t they great? And those eyes. I think the weirdness of the general shape is due to the fact that she’s all hunched up to get that nasty needle in position from all the way up on her back.

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