Wasps

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cycleruk
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Location: Lancashire

Wasps

Postby cycleruk » 27 Sep 2020, 8:00pm

Bird box on side of shed.
Taken over by wasps earlier in the year. Has been vacated a few weeks now. Kept my distance while it was inhabited.
IMG_20200927_113819166.jpg

Dismantled to clean out.
IMG_20200927_114604200_HDR.jpg

Contents.
IMG_20200927_114940840_HDR.jpg

And close up of cells.
IMG_20200927_114950400_HDR.jpg
You'll never know if you don't try it.

mercalia
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Re: Wasps

Postby mercalia » 27 Sep 2020, 8:30pm

do wasps make honey?

peetee
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Re: Wasps

Postby peetee » 27 Sep 2020, 8:30pm

Blimey. If humans could do the equivalent amount of work, eh?
Strangely I have seen very few wasps this year.
Current status report:
Back on two wheels in deepest Pastyland and loving every minute. Mission: to enjoy big, bad hills again.

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Paulatic
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Re: Wasps

Postby Paulatic » 27 Sep 2020, 8:47pm

Stopped for lunch in the middle of a clear fell today. Pestered by a wasp for the first time this year. Seemed to like my tea bag and honey sandwich.
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Jdsk
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Re: Wasps

Postby Jdsk » 27 Sep 2020, 9:29pm

Do you want to get rid of them?

Jonathan

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cycleruk
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Re: Wasps

Postby cycleruk » 27 Sep 2020, 9:29pm

We've had a couple of bee colonies nesting in the eaves this year. These looked to have ousted and upset the sparrows that usually nest there. (we did have sparrows nesting in another bird box for the first time.)
Agree that we also seem to have had very few wasps this year. In fact very few butterflies, greenfly, ladybirds and slugs. Perhaps this coronavirus has more of an effect than thought. :roll:
You'll never know if you don't try it.

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cycleruk
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Re: Wasps

Postby cycleruk » 27 Sep 2020, 9:33pm

Jdsk wrote:Do you want to get rid of them?
Jonathan

Gone now but as Mercalia asked - do they make honey? I know they pollinate plants but do they collect nectar.
You'll never know if you don't try it.

Jdsk
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Re: Wasps

Postby Jdsk » 27 Sep 2020, 9:36pm

Yours may drink nectar but they don't make honey.

But there's a lot of species of wasp...

... including the Mexican honey wasp:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brachygastra_mellifica

Jonathan

windmiller
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Re: Wasps

Postby windmiller » 28 Sep 2020, 12:27am

Wasps are to Bees as Cows are to Pigs, not closely related at all.
I think it is likely that some wasps eventually evolved into the various species of ants. One of the clues being that some primitive species of ants still retain the sting.

Jdsk
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Re: Wasps

Postby Jdsk » 28 Sep 2020, 12:38am

windmiller wrote:Wasps are to Bees as Cows are to Pigs, not closely related at all

Wasps aren't a single group. But if my arm was twisted and context wasn't allowed I'd say that wasps are closely related to bees, and cows are closely related to pigs.

windmiller wrote:I think it is likely that some wasps eventually evolved into the various species of ants. One of the clues being that some primitive species of ants still retain the sting.

Yes. And enough sequencing has been done to allow reclassification:

Image

"Phylogenomics Resolves Evolutionary Relationships among Ants, Bees, and Wasps"
https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(13)01056-7?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS0960982213010567%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

Jonathan

windmiller
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Re: Wasps

Postby windmiller » 28 Sep 2020, 7:09am

Jdsk wrote:
windmiller wrote:Wasps are to Bees as Cows are to Pigs, not closely related at all

Wasps aren't a single group. But if my arm was twisted and context wasn't allowed I'd say that wasps are closely related to bees, and cows are closely related to pigs.

windmiller wrote:I think it is likely that some wasps eventually evolved into the various species of ants. One of the clues being that some primitive species of ants still retain the sting.

Yes. And enough sequencing has been done to allow reclassification:

Image

"Phylogenomics Resolves Evolutionary Relationships among Ants, Bees, and Wasps"
https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(13)01056-7?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS0960982213010567%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

Jonathan


Even daffodils share a quarter of our DNA and chimps 98.8%, we are all closely related if we go far enough back in time. The present species of bees and wasps beyond both being flying stinging insects of a similar shape are very different to each other.

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simonineaston
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Re: Wasps

Postby simonineaston » 28 Sep 2020, 7:53am

It's hard to like wasps. They don't have that furry, slightly dozy like-able quality that bees, especially bumble-bees, do. And unlike spiders, say, wasps don't appear to do great work around the garden. But, I learn with astonishment, they've been around in one form or another for tens of millions of years.
Each year, the ceiling void above our office is home to a wasps' nest, and each year we bump along together - can't remember the last time anyone got stung, inspite of many a lunch consumed out on the benches nearby. :-)
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

Pebble
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Re: Wasps

Postby Pebble » 28 Sep 2020, 8:52am

mercalia wrote:do wasps make honey?

The vast majority of wasp species (there are many 1,000s of them) don't.

Bees make honey so as the colony can survive the winter (doesn't explain bees in tropical climes) wasps just tend to starve to death at the end of the season and just leave a fat queen to hibernate and start a new colony the following year.

Both wonderful and fascinating creatures that we couldn't do without. Sadly like everything else on planet earth we are destroying them like there is no tomorrow.
Last edited by Pebble on 28 Sep 2020, 9:08am, edited 1 time in total.

Jdsk
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Re: Wasps

Postby Jdsk » 28 Sep 2020, 8:58am

windmiller wrote:The present species of bees and wasps beyond both being flying stinging insects of a similar shape are very different to each other.

They're very closely related, as above. So closely that there is no monophyletic definition of wasps that doesn't include both ants and bees.

Jonathan

PS: In US English yellowjackets is used for insects like our common garden yellow and black stinging insects. I think that's a useful term for what we're often talking about and separates them from the vast majority of wasps that have completely different lifestyles... and don't spoil picnics.

Jdsk
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Re: Wasps

Postby Jdsk » 28 Sep 2020, 10:51am

cycleruk wrote:We've had a couple of bee colonies nesting in the eaves this year. These looked to have ousted and upset the sparrows that usually nest there. (we did have sparrows nesting in another bird box for the first time.)
Agree that we also seem to have had very few wasps this year. In fact very few butterflies, greenfly, ladybirds and slugs. Perhaps this coronavirus has more of an effect than thought.

Guardian coverage of the 2020 Annual Big Butterfly Count:
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/sep/28/record-low-number-british-butterflies-baffles-scientists-annua-big-butterfly-count

Jonathan