I've realised that this year has been a bumper year for Hoverflies but until a few days ago I hadn't seen a single common or germanic wasp.
We are nearing the time when the new queens and drones are released from the nests and the workers are getting less food from the larvae so I wasn't entirely surprised to find a wasp feeding off the Blackfly sugary secretions
Last year my runner beans in the vegetable plot were decimated by blackfly so I planted a few in a patio pot and it was easy picking well into the Autumn. This year the plot beans are just about coping with the blackfly but the pot ones are decimated!
I recently came across a post on Twitter asking for photographs of Wasps (any type) on flowers (any type) as they are researching what plants are pollinated by wasps. So I was delighted to be able to tweet that my little wasp found the self-seeded Helleborine near the pot beans:
It's the broad-leaved Helleborine, Epipactis helleborine which is mainly common in woodland settings but has happily established beneath one of my Box Balls. To aid pollination the flowers can contain a kind of alcohol caused by a fungus, which encourages the insects to keep feeding and get a little tipsy!
You can find more information about the Big Wasp Survey here
If I had known then what I know now
I would have started this diary years ago
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