The Blue Winged Wasp

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Blue Winged Wasp 90820a” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

Our Friend Cindy asked me for help identifying a wasp that she spotted. What she described is a Blue Winged Wasp.

The late summer sun casts its glow across the open field illuminating the insects that buzz about a few inches above the grass. They seem to ignore me as I wade through them although several nearly collide with my bare legs. They’re definitely wasps and at first glance they look like yellow jackets swarming but they made no aggressive movements so I persisted until I spotted one at eye level. This wasp feeds on pollen and nectar which means it’s not a yellow jacket or hornet of any kind. It’s docile behavior gave me confidence to move in for a closer look however I cautious about crowding it. The body is black and the wings are iridescent blue like a mud dauber but it’s abdomen is orange with two large yellow spots. This is a “Digger Wasp” which is also known as a Blue Winged Wasp or sometimes Blue Winged Digger. The scientific name is Scotia dubia. This gentle wasp is actually a friend of gardeners.

It gets the name Digger Wasp because when it’s not feeding on pollen and nectar it’s hunting grubs in the lawn or garden. It specifically targets scarab beetles like June bugs and Japanese Beetles. Somehow it’s able to detect them underground well enough to distinguish scarab beete grubs from the hundreds of other grubs the feed on the tender roots of our lawns and vegetables. The online community was was sparse on the finer points of how this is accomplished but I suspect that those heavy club like antenna are the secret. Insects use their antenna to smell with. If you look closely at moths and butterflies you’ll notice that their antenna are either feathered or club shaped. In most butterflies the antenna end in bulbs. These bulbs are clusters of olfactory nerves that can sense oders over great distance. In the Blue Winged Wasp we see that the antenna are thick the entire length. I wasn’t really able to confirm it but it stands to reason that the antenna are thick because they contain a lot of these nerve clusters. I suspect that they know where the beetle larvae is by smelling them below ground. Once they have their target they will tunnel right down to the grubs and paralyze them with a sting. Sometimes they they lay a single egg right there where they captured the grub but other times they’ll bury it to hide it while they dig a better hole to place it in and then lay the egg after the grub has been moved. The grubs are not dead. They’re only paralyzed and when the egg hatches the wasp larvae eats the grub. A Blue Winged Wasp larvae will then spin an underground cocoon and transform into an adult Blue Winged Wasp.

The Blue Winged Digger Wasp is a solitary wasp. They are found in clusters but only if there’s sufficient scarab beetles to host the eggs. In 2016 a wet Spring led to an increase of Scarab Beetles and then a wave of these predators which is still going strong today in some areas.

There is an interesting tidbit about this wasp’s relationship with certain orchids. Some orchids have adapted to mimic the female in this family of wasps. The male becomes confused and mates with the orchids and by doing so pollenates the orchids.

White any wasp will become aggressive if you step on them or try to catch them the Blue Winged Digger Wasp is not generally considered a problem. When they are not controlling the scarab beetles they are likely pollinating orchids as mentioned before or the females are visiting one of the other wildflowers such as Goldenrod or wingstem.

Image Titled “Blue Winged Wasp 90820b” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

Overall, every state extension office between the Eastern Shoreline and the Rocky Mountains listed the Blue Winged Digger Wasp as a beneficial insect so if you have them around they’re only there to help.

That’s it for tonight friends and be blessed throughout your days.

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Second Harvest

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Sweet Duties 90820″and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The changing breezes call out to the workers “come and follow.” As they yield to scent floating on soft currents they fan out amid the fall flowers. Blue-green leaves spread in welcoming gestures bend and sway softly as the little feet find their landing. Pale yellow flowers gaze down and smile in their own way as the grooming begins. The wings beat out music that’s only understood by nature and the beekeepers soul. The little ones perform their work without promoting from human hands. This is the second harvest of God’s providence and it’s the most important to the hive. The first harvest was given in tribute to the kindly master of the hive in tribute. But this harvest will carry the hive through on days when it’s too cold to fly and the forage is scarce. It’s an important task but one that’s performed without angst. The last days of the sun are still plentiful and there’s more than enough for everyone.

Hey Friends! Just a quick reminder that Lloyds Lens Photography is available for portraits!

To book me simply reach out using the Contact Page and we’ll set a date. If you’re within a 50 mile radius of Summersville West Virginia all travel fees are waived.

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If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

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Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251

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The Closing Of The Season

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Summer Azure 90820” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Where the warm breeze ends the tiny wings find their prize. The tall lanky plant with irregular pedals and spiked ball flowers welcomes the little visitor in the waning days of its season. The feeding session has the appearance of an embrace as the little blue butterfly clings gently to it’s host and accepts the sweet gift generated from within the flower’s depths. The shadow of the mountains grows subtly longer with each sunset. With each cool morning it takes the butterflies longer to warm up and begin their work of visiting the blooms and spreading joy. And yet the little Summer Azure is undeterred and performs it’s duty with a look of satisfaction. In it’s contentment the final secret is revealed that the last drop of nectar was the sweetest.

Hey Friends! Just a quick reminder that Lloyds Lens Photography is available for portraits!

To book me simply reach out using the Contact Page and we’ll set a date. If you’re within a 50 mile radius of Summersville West Virginia all travel fees are waived.

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Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251

Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer

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An Observation Of Honeybees And Wingstem

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Honeybee On Wingstem 90820a” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Nothing in this world is insignificant. Throughout my life I’ve endeavored to learn how to live. I’m not talking about the pursuit of a paycheck or optimal health or any of the hardline assets that we collect. I desire the experience of something more than mere existence as a cog in the machine. I find it odd that we as a society are so focused on the “What’s In It For Me” factor to the point that if we don’t see instant gratification we think of something as worthless. Tonight’s feature image shows such a thing. Not so much the honeybee but the flowers they are so engaged with right now. It’s called Wingstem. It has no known medical value. It’s not collected as food and in spite of pleasing color it’s not a garden flower. In fact if I were to have pulled back from the plant and shot it at a wide angle you would see that it’s spindly and twisted. And yet at the very moment the shutter snapped it’s showing us it’s value as a food for the honeybee. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade you’ll know that the honeybee population is of great concern. Whole colonies are dying out and I’ve heard a few theories about what might be happening. Personally I think there’s multiple factors but one thing for sure is that bees have to eat. I noticed that even though there’s still a lot of pollen for them right now they don’t seem to be collecting it. They’re also ignoring the ironweed and Joe Pye weed that all the other pollenators are going nuts for right now. The only flower that this colony is focused on is the Wingstem. I’m not a bee expert so I’m not sure what it is about this particular wildflower that only the honeybees are interested in but my pattern recognition says that the nectar from Wingstem is very important to them right now. Wingstem is one of those plants that humans consider a weed because it’s of no direct use to us and most people cut it back when it turns up. But we definitely need the honeybees and they seem to it. Perhaps God made the Wingstem so unappealing to us because it’s for the bees to have all to themselves.

Hey Friends! Just a quick reminder that Lloyds Lens Photography is available for portraits!

To book me simply reach out using the Contact Page and we’ll set a date. If you’re within a 50 mile radius of Summersville West Virginia all travel fees are waived.

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

https://www.facebook.com/aviewfromthelens/

If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251

Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer

Thank you again for your support of my page!