Posts Tagged ‘nest’

The bad and the beautiful

July 16, 2013 4 comments
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.


Cosy nights

March 25, 2013 2 comments

Before I get into bed, I always check on Galileo, who sleeps on the carpet on Clive’s side next to Joules.

It’s not that I expect him to be anything other than supremely comfortable.

It’s just that some of his poses are so cute.

Here he’s made himself the perfect little nest in his blanket and is curled up as tight as a snail.

Galileo curled up in his blanket

Galileo curled up in his blanket

Here he’s on his back, squirming with pleasure at the warmth of Joules’ fur, while Joules himself is out for the count!

Galileo wriggling beside Joules

Galileo on his back beside Joules

Potter wasps

July 9, 2012 3 comments

Potter wasps love the seclusion of the little wooden enclosure where the swimming pool pump is housed.  They’ve obviously got a route sorted out for making their multiple journeys carrying in mud with their mouths and front legs.

This is a photo of 2 single nests, fixed to the inside of the pump house lid:

‘Pot’ nests of a potter wasp

This is a triple-chamber nest, on the back wall of the pump house:

Triple nest of a potter wasp

This is a multiple chamber nest fixed to the corrugated plastic duct in the pump house:

Potter wasp nest on a corrugated cable

And this is one I did earlier!

2 dead potter wasps and the nests they emerged from

It’s a nest I picked off a corrugated duct last year in the interests of science and put in a jar. I had some idea that when the wasps emerged I would realise and let them out, but of course I didn’t, and they died in there.

The wasps’ desiccated bodies are still recognisable, and show clearly the extreme ‘wasp waist’ which is little more than a thread between thorax and abdomen.

You can also see the grub which the mother wasp paralysed to serve as a food source for her offspring. It’s just a shell now, peeping out of one of the chambers.