Invading wasps in South Africa.

Photos and 2 short videos of a wasp nest in action up close.
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They are known as Yellow Jacket wasps (Vespula vulgaris) of European origin and somehow they invaded South Africa in the early 70s.
Now so many years later they have earned the pest label and the pest experts have a hard time controlling their numbers.
Now I am not a wasp specialist, but I do know that due to the vast expanses and variable nature of the country it will be an impossible task to eradicate the wasps.
They decided to come and start a family under my new carport roof.

This video will show you that they had completed the nest and the female laid her eggs. Note that there was only 1 egg in each compartment.

Then it was time for the babies to emerge and here was a newborn above 3 developing eggs that will soon pop open.
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Of course the mom often flew in to come and check on the progress as you will see in this video.

And here was when I saw that there were clumps of eggs in some compartments.
The father continued to irritate me by whooshing around my head, but he had no luck, as I simply ignored him :)
Not really as I kept a close eye on him and when things started to take on a serious tinge, I simply climbed down and stepped away for a while.
Instead, I should have rather have kept an eye on the mother, as they are the stingers. But she was occupied with her babies.
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Of course I returned and was amazed at the speed that the babies grow.
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Now just imagine how these can breed and I found this,

Vespula vulgaris is a eusocial vespid that builds its tan paper nest in or on a structure capable of supporting it. A founding queen searches for a hollow tree, wall cavity, rock crevice, or even a mammal-made hole to build a nest. One colony cycle lasts for about 6–11 months and each colony cycle produces around 3000–8000 larvae.
Source

I think that they like the African sun and that they are here to stay.
So be it and we just have to learn to live with them like they did in Australia and other countries in the Southern Hemisphere.

We hope that you enjoyed the post and if you also have the yellow jacket wasps in your country, please tell me about it.

And That's All Friends.

Photos by Zac Smith-All Rights Reserved.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60HS Bridge camera.

Thank you kindly for supporting a post on behalf of @papilloncharity



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(Edited)

Check out The Hornet King on YouTube. I follow a few bug enthusiasts of which he is one. If you want to know if the others just let me know.
I did not know the male stayed paired. I assumed like most insects the female took care of the children alone.

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Thank you for the tip and we will check him out.
Now that you mention it yes, you are correct and it could have been a female with one of the other first born on that nest.
I will do a bit of research about the male part of things.

!PIZZA

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Great post with super photos and the video, Zac 👍😃

These are the wasps we are used of here. This nest is quite small, the start of a colony it seems. If you let them live there they will build a much bigger nest. They are annoying little buggers when we eat outside because they are always hungry 😋


!BEER and !WINE - both make a nice dinner with !PIZZA :)
!invest_vote

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Good evening and thank you kindly Hannes,

Yes, I will go and knock the nest off soon, as every summer we get some of the nests under the roof overhangs. I posted a few times of them swimming in the bird bath. They simply drop down on the water and then float around 🤣 !LOLZ

I am told that they sting repeatedly and that it's very sore, but I don't think it is as sore as the red wasp that played a drum on my chest 🤣

Well if they are hungry then simply feed them 🤣

Cheers and thanks.

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Good evening Zac,

yes, they sting repeatedly and it hurts a lot, believe me. Maybe not as much as the red wasp, but a lot 😱

You don't need to feed them, they will land directly on your meal and feed themselves 🤣 !LOLZ


Cheers with !PIZZA and !BEER
!invest_vote

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Good afternoon Hannes,

Oh I do believe you and I have not yet had a friendly meeting with one of them. But if I continue knocking their nests off I am sure that sometime one of them will come to introduce himself formally to me 🤣 !LOLZ

We had a new lesson on scorpions today and here's a tip. The broader, of fatter their tails, the more lethal they are. The thinner the tail the less poisonous they are.

Oh here we go again, you and your professional safety first aid training. So if a wasp falls over from overeating, please don't try to give it mouth to mouth resuscitation as you will walk around with a fat tongue. Very lethal you will become 🤣

Cheers and thanks.

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Good evening Zac,

yep, maybe if you know each other better you might be able to live together in harmony 😂 !LOLZ

I don't care about scorpions because although ours do also sting, they are small and quite seldom and I believe that their poison is much less dangerous than the one of a wasp. But I'll keep your lesson in mind if I ever travel to South Africa :)

Mouth to mouth is fine, but not the other side around 😁


!PIZZA and !BEER - sounds like a nice dinner :)
!invest_vote

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Good evening Hannes,

They say that familiarity breeds contempt 🤣 !LOLZ

I think that when you visit here I will give you some decent sized live scorpions to take back with you.
Then they will fall in love with your midget scorpions and raise decent sized big children 🤣

With your luck it will be guaranteed the other way way around 🤣

Cheers and thanks.

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Good evening Zac,

haha, well, then you have to go on destroying their nests and don't listen to their whispering "hi, I'm little Waspi and wanna be your friend" 😂 !LOLZ

I think they will rather eat our little scorpis.

Well, in that case you are right with a fat tongue 😉


!PIZZA and !BEER - sounds like a nice dinner :)
!invest_vote

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Already greeted my friend and yes the nest is no more, so no little wasp will come whispering 🤣 !LOLZ

Oh no, the scorpions here are like mountain goats so they will kill the males yes, but they will keep the females very much alive 🤣

Yep and with that fat tongue you will say; Path me the thalt pleathe, instead of pass me salt please 🤣

Cheers and thanks.

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Should I now write !LOLTH or !LOLZ 🤣🤣🤣


Cheers with !PIZZA and !BEER
!invest_vote

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Well if that wasp called his friends and they stung you on your hands and somewhere else, there would be many things that include the "s" word that be substituted with a "th" methinks
Such as thex 🤣 !LOLZ

Cheers and thanks.

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There's only one !LOLZ left and it suits very well as reply here 🤣


Cheers with !PIZZA and !BEER
!invest_vote

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Thank you and here is your second !LOLZ for the day 🤣🤣

Cheers and thanks.

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I see these little buggers every morning when I water my spinach and marog patch. They seem rather harmless and if I am not mistaken they function as pollinators. Or something. So in some sense, they can be beneficial in their nuisance haha.

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Be careful as they are not harmless. I am told that they have an awful sting and they destroy fruit trees.
That's why they are certified as pests.

Google "Vestula vulgaris' in South Africa.

!BEER

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they destroy fruit trees

Eish, and that is never a good thing. I also have so many stink bugs in the garden and they also damage trees. It is scary to think about how big a problem these invasive species are.

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Oh yes, go and ask the old oak trees about the Borer beetles, as they are slowly being toppled.
It seems that the pest controllers have a real fight on their hands with all of the new threats appearing.

!BEER

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Not to be "that guy" but isn't oak also non-native here in South Africa? In any case, I think most species have become so native to most parts of the world. I had a weird idea recently. What if we all disappeared tomorrow. Most home gardens are filled with mostly non-native species. Wouldn't this be a disaster ecologically speaking? When our homes fall in on themselves all the non-native species will take over and compete with the local flora. Sorry, these are my late-night thoughts!

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Oh yes, the oaks and the Jacarandas were imported and so too the Pine trees and many others.
Always with one or another reason in the early years, but none of the "brilliant" importers could see ahead to what we have today.
A real mess.

!BEER

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Such a mess. Especially with the water crisis and all of the trees that soak up the water. And the saddest part for me is that these majestic big trees have become such a part of life that it is sad to see them go. We have a very big (60-year-old plus) Australian Myrtle tree and it is technically a weed that needs to be taken out, but it is such a beautiful tree.

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Yes very sad indeed but then again they didn't have the situations that we have to face today.
Tremendous population growth, scarcity of water and so many other problems.
Shame yes the myrtles are lovely trees, but so are the oaks and many other types of foreign old trees.
In the end it's our survival that counts. Bitter but true.

!BEER

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True right. Sad but true. But I also think it is sad that with these "invasions of foreign species" we lose the local ones. The herbalist that I am, I wonder about all the wonderful food sources and medicinal sources that have been under our fingers but we lost countless years' knowledge with people who died without writing down their knowledge.

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My gran was an expert old fashioned herbalist and she fixed me up many times. But you are right as her potent potions died with her. I could have a bad cough and she fixed it, a growth in my left ear and she fixed it, a snapped off long white thorn stuck in the bone of my heel and she drew it out with a bandage and her potions overnight.
Now it is all gone.

!BEER

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Sorry for the late reply. This year started off hectic.

You see, that is exactly what I am talking about. It saddens me to hear these stories. Through the ages, people learned these things and in less than a 100 years or so we totally destroyed almost all of the local knowledge. Plus, with invasive species taking over, it in some sense renders these "local knowledge" ideas useless as most things have taken over from other parts of the world.

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oh yes, as they say, time moves on and waits for no one. Nowadays parents can't teach their kids the secrets anymore as all of the kids are into tech which the parents do not understand.
So the roles are reversed as now the kids teach the parents how to do e-mails and apps.
A sad turnaround I have to say as tech contains none of the old values, most notably respect for the self and all others.

!BEER

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True again! A reversal of roles without the added potential benefit it could have brought with it. Tech and the internet could have been such a wonderful place to share the knowledge of the old, but as you mentioned, the respect for self and others is lost. If it was not, there might have been a wealth of information on the internet (such as what we are doing here on hive) of the older generations.

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Yeah, we call those hornets here in the Southwestern USA. Yellowjackets here are slightly smaller than a honey bee, more yellow, and less black. Those hornets have a VERY painful sting and can sting you repeatedly unlike a honey bee that can only sting once then loses its stinger and dies. I worked doing residential pest control for a few years when I was a young newlywed. I hated wasp and hornet jobs, seemed like no matter how careful I was I would get stung 1 out of 5 jobs.

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Ouch, ours like all thing in Africa are bigger and I once had a small red wasp doing his thing repeatedly on my chest. Afterwards it looked like I needed a bra.
Haven't been stung by one of the Yellowjackets yet and not looking forward to it either.

Nope, I have had many jobs but never a pest controlling job. As a newly wed I know what it's like to support a family, as I was married at 20 and had my third child at 24.
That must have been a terrible job for you.

!BEER

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I wouldn't say terrible, but it wasn't a favorite! I learned about all types of bugs and rodents and how to eliminate them effectively. That knowledge has saved me tons of money over the years we have been married. We have always had pets and sooner or later you have a flea problem. Mice come and go through the years. Ants in the house. Wasp nest/hornets' nest, the list goes on and on. I know what to buy for them and how to use it. I have also helped many friends over the years and saved them money as well.

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I was just talking somewhere else about how our past experiences are all geared to help us in the future and you have also confirmed it here.
Unbeknown to us at the time when we are in some job, we don't realize that it was destined for our road in life.

Great to see that you are helping others, as that's the most important thing in my life.

Stay well and be blessed.

!BEER
!LOLZ

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