Wednesday, August 08, 2007

the "big bees" are back! actually cicada killing wasps, these regal insects are about 2 inches long and are seen here only in august. the wasps dig long tunnels into a bank, and deposit their eggs and cicadas to feed their larvae. once temperatures drop below about 70 F, the wasps die. we have had to limit the population in our yard, as these wasps will dive bomb you, and in a group of about 30, it makes being outdoors hitchcockian. however, the wasps are really not agressive; none of us has been stung. i allow a population of 5-10 wasps each year. in this photo of 3 wasps, a queen and male are mating, and the male on top is trying to sting his competitor, or mate with the female, i'm not sure which.

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