So strange. I thought I found an old mini beehive the other day on the RD, but thought nothing of it. Today, Paula told me to go look at another “weird beehive thing inside the birdhouse”– and when I looked, there was a hive visible, as well as a yellowjacket…
Or so I thought. Paula found a second nest, and it’s clear that the alien invaders are actually paper wasps
Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Here’s the science on our new neighbors, from Wikipedia:
Unlike yellowjackets and hornets, which can be very aggressive, polistine paper wasps will generally only attack if they themselves or their nest are threatened. Since their territoriality can lead to attacks on people, and because their stings are quite painful and can produce a potentially fatal anaphylactic reaction in some individuals, nests in human-inhabited areas may present an unacceptable hazard.
Most wasps are beneficial in their natural habitat, and are critically important in natural biocontrol. Paper wasps feed on nectar, and other insects, including caterpillars, flies, and beetle larvae, and they are often considered to be beneficial by gardeners.
I’m thinking we leave them alone. We have had problems with caterpillars eating our stuff, and they seem to be harmless enough for the time being. If I’m wrong, correct me!
In other news, cool-looking, but [unfortunately] non-psychedelic mushrooms are growing on one of the tree stumps.