Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Mexican honey wasps

Earlier this month, a friend called, asking what he should do with a Mexican honey wasp nest. Thomas works in the landscape business and found this nest on a property. The owner wanted it GONE. So long story short, we got it! The nest now resides in our Wildscape. And it is awesome!
First, I'd never even heard of honey wasps. Have you? Right away, James read up on them. And right away, I need to tell you that they are wonderful pollinators and not aggressive unless strongly provoked. Thomas was able to move the nest, complete with wasps, around like he did because of the cold temperatures at the time.
Mexican honey wasps (Brachygastra mellifica) range from central Texas down to Mexico and Central America. They're not hairy like bees and are much smaller. Like bees, they produce and store honey. Their paper nests, however, can get as large as a basketball and house as many as 50,000 cells. For more info, check out entomologist Mike Quinn's page, Mexican Honey Wasp.

Photos below taken January 31, 2018

UPDATE February 19, 2018

I venture outside

Columbine coming up....
 The sun's out again today! So I ventured outside to see what I could see amid the winter browns.....
Mealy sage
Heartleaf skullcap

Mexican hat (top) and Engelmann daisy

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Meadow meanderin'

Baby bluebonnets!
The sun's out! So Sheryl went out, too. With camera in hand, I carefully stepped around in the Meadow to see what I could see. Which was, hopefully, lots of little bluebonnets. I found some but not as many as I'd hoped. But then, I didn't look real hard because I didn't want to smush anyone. 
More baby bluebonnets...

And the purple milkweed vines are going to seed still.