Paper wasps!

We were off on holiday weekend visits for three days but to look at things outside you would think we’ve been gone a week!  It was hot, there were seedling casualties, but most stuff survived and the heat made a couple things explode into growth.

One thing that is growing is the paper wasp nest we found in the little dawn redwood.  paper wasp nestI’d rather it wasn’t so close to the sandbox but the kids want it to stay and I’m willing to see how that works out.  The kids are old enough to know better than to antagonize them, but I’m not so sure how that will hold up when the boys get together and hit an “I’m bored” moment….. Obviously I wouldn’t be doing this if there were any known sting allergies around.

The nest is only about four feet up, and I’m curious as to how these guys chose their nest site.  Out of all the bushes and trees around the yard they pick this one.  The one closest to the play area.  Go figure.  But it is interesting to watch them working on the nest, doing what paper wasps do.bald faced hornet

This can easily turn out to be one of those “that was stupid” posts…. time will tell.  Hopefully in the fall when this set of wasps die and they abandon the nest (they only use it one year) the next generation will pick a better spot.   In the meantime I hope they help themselves to as many caterpillars, bugs and spiders as they want, they can be a great beneficial insect, and I hope they’ll keep my kindness in mind when I absentmindedly bump the nest while mowing back there…. that should be funny to watch.

8 comments on “Paper wasps!

  1. A Mom who doesn't want her kids stung by bees says:

    Removing the nest would be a wise idea. Just sayin’

  2. pbmgarden says:

    Hope your paper wasp experiment turns out well. By the way Dawn Redwood is a really fine tree I think.

    • bittster says:

      I agree on the dawn redwood, I have “Ogon” which is the yellow/chartreuse variety, it’s so bright and colorful it’s almost as if it has a personality of it’s own…. I’m not a plant talker, but I’ve been known to mutter “lookin’ good” on occasion as I walk up to this one!

  3. What great kids! When I was sandbox age I would have whined like crazy until the nest was gone. Then again I would probably do the same thing today.

    PS – Isn’t it great when your spouse can provide directives through your blog?

    • bittster says:

      I’m actually surprised my daughter didn’t have anything to say…. She goes back and forth between liking frogs and worms and screaming when they come close.
      Honestly I didn’t even think the wife ever read this blog. I suspect someone tipped her off, I can’t imagine her making it through more than two sentences of outdoor plant stuff!

  4. At 4 feet up, that is a dangerous height for these aggressive wasps. I too would leave it without children but with kids…. Maybe get a bee keeper to come in and relocate it. We have one in our area that does this and would never kill the insects. She moves wasps all the time and takes them back to here huge naturally kept properties.

    • bittster says:

      I was actually dumb enough to do it myself…. waited till evening, cut the branch, threw it on top of a shrub out back, then ran. They appear not to have minded and somehow I survived unstung!

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