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There is no room at the inn

April 23, 2019

Nor at the Blue-banded B&B. You could be mistaken for reading the title and thinking that Xmas is upon us, but no. There has been action though at the Blue-banded B&B. As previously reported the Blue-banded Bees and their parasitic entourage have long left. Similarly the Cuckoo Wasps and Mud Wasps are no longer hanging around the building.

The recent arrival as of last week has been a European Wasp of the queen variety. European Wasps (Vespula germanica) are a highly invasive wasp species known to drive native insect species out of an area and create havoc with outdoor human activities over the summer period. In the past couple of years the problem has not been as bad due in part to late spring rains flooding nests along the local waterways.

Nests are started in spring when a fertilised queen lays eggs in a number of cells, usually underground. These eggs hatch into workers who over summer continue to expand the nest. Over this period the queen wasp lays thousands of eggs which mature into workers, drones and new queens. In autumn the newly hatched queen wasps emerge from the nest and search for a place to overwinter. Common places are wood-piles, holes in the ground- either found or created, and cracks in the brickwork of old buildings.

In their native Europe and the Middle East populations of European Wasps are controlled by the climate with very cold weather killing many nests. However in the more temperate Australia, nests survive the winter and continue to grow.

Apparently there were no cracks in the building suitable for the new arrival. I do not want to appear racist but as far as wasps are concerned, Europeans are not welcome at the Blue-banded B&B.

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