wasp watching photographer
This wasp looks scary but she was so intent on building her nest and laying her eggs that over a week-end I photographed her from a distance of about 3 cm several times. She was very patient with me.
The wasp is a species of Ropalidia (Vespidae: Polistinae) a social wasp. The female is initiating a nest. She overwintered as an adult carrying male sperm ready to fertilise her eggs to produce daughters who will join her working on the nest. Males, like all male Hymenoptera (bees, wasps and ants), will be produced from the unfertilised eggs. The prey is caught and macerated and fed mouth to mouth to the larvae. The prey of social wasps has changed in nature and is no longer for paralysis of invertebrates but for defence of the nest and can give vertebrates such as ourselves a nasty reaction. Each female when she stings leaves a scent marker for the other females to home in on the intruder.