Apr 28, 2009

What's This?

What's this? Perhaps close-ups of new fiber weaves or shots of this year's quilting contest runner-up? Is this what a teddy bear's hide looks like under magnification? Is it soft? Can I make a pillow out of it?

Photo source: EnglishRussia.com






















No, you're looking at an obscenely large wasp nest. UPDATE: Neil has identified this as a hornet. Specifically, Vespa affinis.

These shots were taken by a Russian blogger who found these industrious wasps constructing a sprawling compound beneath the eaves of his flat. Any clue as to what kind of wasps these might be? Some sort of uber-paper wasp? Check out the bottom picture for a close up of the wasps themselves, then tell us how afraid we need to be.

Thanks for the link, Ida.







14 comments:

housetier said...

perhaps those are hornets: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hornet

niner said...

Ahh, it looked so soft!

We have a few wasps hovering around our apartment windows on the second floor. I wouldn't go outside last year because they seemed aggressive (or maybe curious). Is there anything to repel them (not necessarily kill)?

Neil said...

As the previous commenter noted, they are hornets. I'm guessing Vespa affinis based the nest pattern and what I can see of the wasps in the 3rd photo (i.e. yellow abdomen with a black tip).

Miss Courtney Lake said...

niner: if they are "paper wasps" as in, the sort of hornet/wasp that builds paper nests, you can hang up a paper lunch bag full of newspaper to repell them. It looks like another wasp nest to them, and they dislike competition, so they won't move in. I have recently seen for sale in the local Canadian Tire, special "wasp repellant" paper bags that come pre-stuffed with a little hook and string on top and everything.
I don't have advice for the other sorts of crevice dwelling or mud hive making wasps.

niner said...

Thanks, Miss Courtney!

I'm not sure what kind of wasp they are; they are pretty common in the US as I have seen them in the Midwest and I'm on the East Coast.

I haven't seen or found a nest; they just constantly hover around the front windows and door.

We will try a paper bag and see if that works! Thanks for the advise!

Anon3 said...

"UPDATE: Neil has identified this as a hornet, not a wasp. Specifically, Vespa affinis."

As neil seems to know ("I can see of the wasps in the 3rd photo"), hornets are wasps. Even the wiki link in the first comment confirms this.

Raging Wombat said...

Thanks for the clarification, anon3. It's fixed now.

bmljenny on blogger said...

We had an emptied-out one of those near our old house and my dad took it down and cut it open. Inside the colors were crazy bright from all the various flyers they'd used and it smelled like bad breath.

Eliza said...

There needs to be a checkbox for "terrifying".

Zanna said...

I had a different, gentler species of brown paper wasp take up residence in my living room window. I couldn't open the window for over a year until they finally were removed and a screen put up, before that we just let them run their natural course, and the view in the window was great. For the season they were there, they made a fascinating study, and I spent hours watching them. It was like a more menacing ant farm, and I loved watching them feed their larvae etc. I felt genuine guilt when we had to destroy the nest at the beginning of this spring, after all they never once stung me despite a good many getting in the house. One even got in my hair! But no stings. This was the sort of umbrella wasp that builds flat open cell paper nests, and after my experiences around them I don't fear them at all. I can't count how many I found in my house and simply caught in jars and released back outside...

cynth said...

Eliza I agree. There does need to be an option for "terrifying". Nothing sends me in to running spazzing arm flailing fits like a wasp/hornet/bee/yellow and black stinging flying insect dive bombing me.

Raging Wombat said...

I wish I could add a 'terrifying' tag, but Blogger only allows me to have four tags at a time.

Bob said...

Wasps tend to be quite neighborly as long as you don't hit their nest, or accidently lean up against a resting wasp, or wear cologne. or move quickly, or wear bright colors.

A pest control company will charge you about $100 to get rid of them.

Vanessa said...

That is stunning, but I am also terrified of them. Probably the only insects that I fear.
It probably didn't take them that long to construct it either. My sister had one on her house, the size of a basketball, and it didn't seem to take long for it to be there.
Industrious is right.