(Awsome site, BTW)We have new visitors in our yard (and in my camper). Large cylindrical bees or hornets, nearly 2″ long, black with three white stripes. They look like WWII fighters patrolling over London whenever you get near. Help! I’m ready to give them my tractor AND my camper!
I’m guessing Bald Faced Hornets, Dolichovespula maculata. These are social wasps that build a large paper nest from regurgitated wood pulp. The nests can be over a foot across that can contain 10,000 hornets. They are aggressive and do not like intruders near the nest and they will sting painfully, swarming and chasing the perpetrator. Unlike bees which die upon stinging, hornets can sting multiple times and live to tell. I hope you don’t have fields to plow or rubber to burn in the near future. I think your tractor and camper are lost to you until the frost which will kill the workers, but the queen hibernates and begins a new colony in the spring.
Hey, my friend found this weird nest/cocoon thing in his shed and its really weird and if you could tell us what its from thatd be great. Its grey and its made of like mud and clay and on the inside it was full of dead house flies.it was made in the secind story of his shed, and it was stuck to the side of the wall. the top was rounded with a closed hole and on the bottom there was an open hole. the walls are about about 3mm thick. the flies look like there trapped in some kind of webbing, but not.We live in a small town in Ontario canada. Were about an hour from toronto. Thats pretty much it. If you could get back to me as soon as possible thatd be great casue this thing is really gross and creepy. Thanks.
James and Shannon
Dear James and Shannon,
You found the nest of a mud wasp. Your wasp prefers flies as food. I have a mud nest from the black & yellow mud dauber, Sceliphron caementarium. on my back wall and will post it with your letter in the near future. They generally sting spiders to fill the nest, then lay eggs on the paralyzed spiders and when the young wasps hatch, they have a fresh meal, eating the comatose spiders alive.