Wasps collecting mud from a bank on a stream

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Richard Hancox
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Last seen: 10 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 24/09/2016 - 08:01
Wasps collecting mud from a bank on a stream

Hi,

I recently saw some unusual (to me) wasp activity whereby a large number of wasps were disappearing down a hole (about 2-3in diameter) in the bank of a small stream and reemerging with quite large balls of mud (certainy visible to the naked eye). The wasps were coming and going at the rate of about one per second, each rather heavily laden with a mud ball, and flying (with somewhat of a struggle) over the field I was in towards some trees. I'm assuming that the material would be used to line a nest. I am used to seeing evidence of wasps removing layers of wood from fences to do so but not mud - and there was plenty of wood available from old fencing nearby. Fom a quick internet search, I don't think these would have been solitary potter wasps, as they were obviously in a very large, well organised colony. Can anyone advise what wasp activity it might have been that I saw? I am new to this Forum, but wandered if anyone could help me to identify which type of wasps these ight have been.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks,

Richard

 

Hawk
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Last seen: 8 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 08/10/2015 - 12:16
Hi Richard

Hi Richard

It seems what you were actually witnessing were wasps excavating mud from a nest to make more room to expand the nest inside. As you quite rightly say, you've seen wasps scraping wood, which is used to construct the nest, they do not use mud. Without out a photo, it wouldn't be possible to give you an exact ID, but it is most likely going to be one of the social species such as Vespula vulgaris or V germanica. They will carry the mud away from the nest and drop it on the way to their foraging area.

Hope this answers your question.

 

Hawk

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