We’ve already included a European Paper Wasp in a previous What’s Buzzin’ report, but our Development Director Glenn observed one going to the “lumber yard” to gather some building materials. These wasps, among others, collect fibers from sound, weathered wood to build their nests… in this case, wooden garden stakes. The wasp will walk in a straight line and scrape up a ball with its mandibles. The wasp then chews the wood, mixing it with saliva, and helps fashion the open, upside-down umbrella-like nest in the eave of a house or other sheltered area. Once a good source of wood is located, it is used by the wasps again and again. Many stripes up to a few centimeters long are a telltale sign of this activity.
Photo by Glenn Marangelo on 5/9/20 in Missoula, MT