Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Great Black Wasp


Ever heard of a great black wasp?  I had not and didn't even know they existed.  I hadn't noticed them around the garden before (although I'm sure they have always been around somewhere).  To give you perspective, the picture above is one of these HUGE wasps on my oregano.  The wasp is probably about 1 1/2 inches long!  I was quite freaked out and left the area quickly (after I snapped a couple of photos, LOL).

I promptly came inside and googled "big black wasp."  It came up with the Giant Black Wasp and it was exactly what I had seen!  They are actually beneficial wasps and rarely care to sting you.  They are good pollinators.  They do not live in colonies but are rather loners.  They build their nests underground.  The female will catch grasshoppers, katydids, and the sort.  She stings them to paralyze them, drags them down to her home, and then lays eggs on them that will then hatch and survive off the live insect.

The circle of life, fascinating as it is.  The male does not even have a stinger so only the female can sting you and will often only do that if provoked (unlike our crazy red wasps and hornets around here).  I usually get stung a few times each summer from our mean local wasps and hornets.  It is NOT fun!!

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