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Monday, May 28, 2012

That’s NOT a Mason Bee!

Ok so I had this wasp looking thing show up in my laundry room and it looked different so I took a picture before it flew away.

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Well, today there was another one in there and I thought, hmmm wonder if they are coming out of the mason bee tubes?  So I took those to the garage and went to release the second one. Well there was one flying around the mason beehive.

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Which worried me, are they eating the mason bees? Are they injuring the larva in some way?  I contacted Crown Bees to see if they knew what it was, but Dave didn’t. So it was time for some outreach to one of my trusted bug identification sites Bug Guide.  While the majority of the people on the site are just like me or you, I think there are some real bug gurus too!  In any event it didn’t take long for my ‘friend’ to be identified as a Potter Wasp, scientific name of Monobia quadridens.  This wasp is a ‘green’ wasp in that they believe in reusing old homes from other solitary wasp/bees like mud daubers and mason bees.  They are pollen eaters and they use caterpillars as food for their babies, so no harm to my mason bees.  Now my only concern, I don’t know how many of my mason bee reeds and tubes have mason bees versus potter wasp!  Time will tell….

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