Mason Wasp

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11 years 7 months ago #25550 by Ghilly
Mason Wasp was created by Ghilly
While I was out in the garage yesterday I heard a zzziing noise... I thought, oh, a fly has been caught by a spider.... today I heard the same thing and thought briefly, ooh lucky spider, catching two flies.. but no!
I shone the torch around and found a black wasp thing building a mud nest in a gap under the window sill. When I shone the torch on it, it flew out and zizzed against the windows then zoomed outside.

I went back out there a while later and the beastie had returned with a small portion of dirt in it's mouth. It started zizzing and put a little bit of the dirt around the outside edge of it's little mud house then crawled inside and with more zizzing noises emitting from inside it must have got busy with more of the dirt. It seemed to be having a bit of trouble on the roof area but then the zizzing stopped and it repositioned itself to the outer edge and kept modeling the dirt with more zizzing.

I checked out an insect guide on a website and found that this industrious bug is a mason wasp. A loner who makes a zizzing noise while building... LOL a bit like a builder whistling I suppose.

How hard case that it should find this particular spot to build it's house.
The nest contains rooms and an egg is laid in each and an orbweb spider is left as food for the emerging larva.

The adults feed on pollen...... I wonder how many more of these wasps are building around here?

Yakut

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11 years 7 months ago #357255 by Ronney
Replied by Ronney on topic Mason Wasp
I always think these are very clever little things - but I wish they would go build their nests out in the forest somewhere[}:)]

They take over the curtains, rifle barrels, scew holes, inside ornaments including my Kauri Snail shells, in fact anything with two surfaces that they can build between. There is even a nest on the flywheel of my milking machine and they go round and round for two hours every day - she even continued to build the nest while it was in motion.

They seem to be very early this year?

Cheers,
Ronnie

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11 years 7 months ago #357264 by tonic
Replied by tonic on topic Mason Wasp
they are very cool, though they insist on building nests in our curtains.... which is messy.

heres a pic of a nest we found last year:

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11 years 7 months ago #357329 by Ghilly
Replied by Ghilly on topic Mason Wasp
Euw Tonic, all those spider bodies! Ugh! I'd never seen one before now and at least it's built it out in the garage, plenty of spiders out there for it.

Yakut

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11 years 7 months ago #357350 by Toast
Replied by Toast on topic Mason Wasp
Yes, I'm very familiar with Mason bees.

Since my childhood they have invaded mostly back porches of farm houses I have lived in. Favourite nesting place - in the elbow creases of oilskins or in the folds of the skirt part where they've been hanging up.

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Toast is the best food in the world
Whisky is the best drink in the world

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11 years 7 months ago #357368 by tonic
Replied by tonic on topic Mason Wasp
and remember that the spiders are paralysed but not dead.... it is a tough life in the wild...

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11 years 7 months ago #357387 by stephclark
Replied by stephclark on topic Mason Wasp
eemmm they are very busy at mine.. and like toast, the oil skin rain coat on the porch is a fav.. also stored horse covers, the riding helmet ( obviously not used enough ).. and yes the curtains..i always feel a bit aweful when i accidently wreck one of their little mud huts by flicking out the coat or whatever,.. all that work..

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11 years 7 months ago #357388 by Ghilly
Replied by Ghilly on topic Mason Wasp
The mud hut is still at the same stage it was last time I saw it yesterday... I wonder if the wasp got snagged by a bird.... or maybe an orb spider fought back and won?
Which leads me to.... how does a wasp get a spider without getting got itself? Maybe the answer lies in the uncompleted hut.......

So, the spiders in the photo Tonic provided are still alive, just paralised? Morbid! Life in the wild is brutal and cruel. I wonder if the venom used to disable the spiders wears off after a while if the spider doesn't get eaten?

Yakut

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11 years 7 months ago #357532 by tonic
Replied by tonic on topic Mason Wasp
i think the wasps sting the spiders to paralyse them. yes the siders were still alive, the odd one would move a little bit.... it is sad, but then the wasp needs to provide fresh food for its larvae... and even spiders need predators to keep them in check.

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11 years 7 months ago #357610 by Kiwi303
Replied by Kiwi303 on topic Mason Wasp

Yakut;347809 wrote:

Which leads me to.... how does a wasp get a spider without getting got itself?

Yakut

I've seen that in action, the wasp flew in and hovered like a helicopter/hummingbird above the spiders back with the sting curved down and "landed" on the spider sting first, then quickly took off and flew around until the spider slowed down and stopped, like a winding down clockwork toy.

I don't think they land in front of the spider and have a Zorro-ish duel of stinger vs fangs. No such thing as fair play in mother natures lexicon.

You Live and Learn, or you don't Live Long -anon

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11 years 7 months ago #357618 by Ghilly
Replied by Ghilly on topic Mason Wasp
I had another look at the hut it was building and it seems to have sealed that one off and started another..... so it must have been at prenatal classes when I checked the first time yesterday.... or out for coffee LOL.

I don't know whether to remove this mud hut or not.... Are these wasps beneficial or are they a ratbag form of wasp.?

Yakut

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11 years 7 months ago #357641 by Toast
Replied by Toast on topic Mason Wasp
Don't know .....

I've just discovered I've got them in the garage. I heard the buzzing & can see that they are between strips of wood around the window. Must be that time of year.

Will have to watch out for them setting up house in the horse rugs which hang from on high.

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Toast is the best food in the world
Whisky is the best drink in the world

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11 years 7 months ago #357745 by Ghilly
Replied by Ghilly on topic Mason Wasp
More industrious building going on today. Lots of Zzzzzzing. It seems she's going in for single story units in the Terraced style. ! Our own little Coro Street of a sorts.... maybe I shall call her Ena!

Yakut

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