Home > Animals and wildlife > The bad and the beautiful

The bad and the beautiful

A lively nest

A lively nest

The small wooden structure which houses our swimming pool pump has recently been a hive of activity.

Last night I opened the lid, saw a couple of wasps fly out, and received a very nasty sting on my hand.

I attributed this attack to one of the potter wasps which builds in there, even though I’d always believed them to be peaceable insects which mind their own business.

Later on, when it was almost dark, I opened the pump house lid completely and there attached to its underside was a nest humming with very vigorous and vicious-looking paper wasps.

They must have built that whole thing in about 2 days!

I sprayed the nest with garden insecticide and later returned to sweep it into a bucket of water.

This morning I went to see what the potter wasps were up to and found a fresh, damp, pot shape on the top of the pump filter.

Then a potter wasp arrived carrying a lump of clay!

A confused potter wasp wanting to deliver its load

Potter wasp with a load of clay

It swooped around, clearly confused by the fact that the pump house lid was up, and only when I closed it did it go in, using its customary slit.

Almost immediately there was a great buzzing and I peeked inside the pump house.

The wasp was inside the hollow of the pot shape, adding its load of clay and rounding it out.

Potter wasp finally at work

Potter wasp at work

What skill and industry!

I closed the pump house lid gently and left it be. It had had enough disturbance for one day.

  1. July 16, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    Cool post but sorry you got stung ours are crazy with this heat I have tons of dragonflies and Blue Jays don’t they eat BEES 🙂

    • July 17, 2013 at 1:34 pm

      Thank you. It was a very painful sting and my hand swelled up. You’re right that blue jays eat bees but I’m not so sure about our type of jay – they certainly eat apricots!

      I tried to send you a hug in my last reply (Ghostly Moth) but it just turned out as 3 brackets in a row! 🙂

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