apiary creatures predators

Yellowjacket redux

After Monday’s post on yellowjackets I learned a lot about wasps. A representative of the Rescue Corporation–the people who make those plastic yellowjacket traps that I love–sent a positive i.d. on my nest: Vespula vulgaris. These are known as common wasps or, in North America, yellowjackets.

Dave at Georgia Wildlife Services, Inc. wrote to say the nest and surrounding envelope is called a carton. The nest is made from chewed wood mixed with saliva. Although it looked like wood shavings to me, it disintegrated when I touched it. So now this all makes sense.

When I went back up the hill the next day to look at the nest again, it was gone. Some of the wood and saliva material was still stuck to the branch but the rest had disappeared. I’m assuming the brood is especially yummy to things like opossums, raccoons, birds, or many of the other critters that live here in the Northwest woods. It’s no surprise that we don’t often see things like a fallen nest–what is a catastrophe for one species is a windfall for another. Such is nature.

A special thanks to everyone who helped with words of wisdom and species identification. I learned a lot from you all.


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