[Here is another post that I saved from a warmer month, to provide material to keep me going through this bleaker time of year.]
The three little pigs built their houses out of straw, sticks, or bricks. And so do wasps.
Imagine a wasp’s nest. Paper, hanging from a tree or some eaves, right? Well yes, but that is not the whole story.
These wasps build their nests of mud (bricks!):
And add to them year by year:
The stucco nests are made by the Black-and-Yellow Mud-dauber wasp, which collects little balls of mud from puddles, and carries it to its building site. The different sources of mud produce the multi-coloured effect.
The Grass-carrying Wasp, Isodontia mexicana, builds its nest of grass (straw!):
These solitary wasps wriggle into crevices, like this one between two shingles, where they lay their eggs:
Then they carry grass in their mandibles and seal the hole up:
In this last photo you can just see an empty papery whitish carcass of a tree cricket which they stash to feed their larvae.
Next time, I’ll return to those familiar paper nests, made of masticated wood pulp (wood!), and take you into their innermost workings.