East Texas Naturalist Blog

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Are You A Male or Female Wasp? OOOWWW! Yep. You're a Female.

PaperWasp102515

From an early age I have been fascinated with wasps.  In fact one of my early memories is of reaching out to grab a paper wasp nest.  They did not appreciate the gesture. 

The stings did not make me stay away from them.  A few years later, we had a wasp nest on our porch and I would climb up with a wide mouthed jar and quickly put it over the nest so I could get close and look at the nest and all the wasps.  Naturally, all of the wasps were not on the nest at the time and when one that was out flying around came back, I would be stung again.  Usually more than once.  For when the returning wasp stung me, I would drop the jar and before I could get down, the other wasps that were on the nest, under the jar, would also take their shots at me.  They were a little excited from the jar over the nest and my face a few inches away.  When they suddenly could get to me, they stung me, too, sometimes repeatedly.  Imagine that.

They have always been interesting to me and I have messed with them and their nests time and again.  I used to have a collection of nests and dead wasps pinned to them so they looked like they were still alive working the nest. 

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