Monday, 27 June 2011

Hibernating wasp queen

Well this awful weather has its compensations, I suppose.  I am finally getting to grips with all the photographs I've been taking. This one was taken in the depths (literally) of winter when snow was more than welly deep and the temperature was double digit minus.

A few weeks earlier, when we'd had people to stay, I heard screams and was told a big wasp had just been thrown out.  As the snow was falling, the wind howling, and no sign of any greenery, never mind flowers, I paid no attention to this, and thought it must have been a spider or something, and felt sorry for the poor thing.

Then I came across this while taking in some logs.  I found many more, so obviously our log store was considered a good hibernation place.  Temperature must be a factor in waking up the queens.  The log store is open on one side, but has a roof of sorts.  It is certainly not what I would have thought of as a good place to hibernate, but by the numbers of queens I subsequently found, it must be good for them.
I love the way she is holding on to her wings.  She has a nice fat abdomen, so perhaps she made it and is laying eggs as we speak.  I hope her daughters find better food than my strawberries at the end of summer.

I hear the rest of the country is having summer, and some are complaining of the heat.  I am sitting here in a wooly jumper, looking out on a sodden scene.  However there is little wind, so the bumblebees are busy on my vipers bugloss and foxgloves.