Penguin Droppings

By gen2

Geriatric Wasps

Wasps (Vespa sp.) on ivy (Hedera helix)

This time of year, ivy is an important source of nectar for insects but many are fighting a losing battle against falling temperatures and shortening day-length.

In the summer, wasps have a very distinctive black and yellow colouring but as they near the end of their lives, the yellow darkens to a more orange hue.

These were all very sluggish and couldn't have competed in any geriatric marathon race if their lives had depended upon it. Yes, a few did fly a short hop from one flower cluster to the next but the majority were so sluggish that they could only walk (crawl) from bloom to bloom.

There must have been between 50 and a hundred individuals on this ivy. Every flower cluster had one, two or three wasps on it and a number of others could be seen dragging semi-functional limbs along the plant stems.

This afternoon, the weather has become more showery and windier so I would surmise that tomorrow, there will be fewer wasps at this location. If I get time, I shall check.

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