I'll begin this post with a warning. This entry is not for those who are squeamish at the mere mention of bees and wasps. This isn't going to be a gory entry by any means, but I am going to delve into the life histories of the things that sting.
This entry was inspired by the sight of this house on a house.
This is the home of a Paper Organ Mud Dauber Wasp (Trypoxylon politum). These non-aggressive, solitary wasps belong to the Crabronidae family and this includes digger wasps and sand wasps, all considered "hunter wasps". The female wasp gathers mud and builds her nest, where she deposits an egg in each nest cell. The male wasp will guard the nest and mate with the female each time she returns to the nest to feed the larvae. Spiders are the primary food for the growing larvae.
Danno and I rarely use the front door as we enter the house through the garage. At some point (probably last summer, from the looks of the nest) a paper wasp created a nest on the frame of our front door. Yikes!
Did you know that you can make a Bee Box?
The houses from which these insects are raised are just one aspect of their fascinating stories. There are several books and websites to learn about our wasp and bee friends. I'm still a bit squeamish around the stingers, but the more I read, the less afraid I become and the more my respect grows for these insects. At the very least, I can tolerate their present and not freak out when they buzz in my direction.