(Grand Forks, B.C. Canada)
Bald Faced Hornet, caught by its appetite for sweetness
This wasp is very distinctive - large in size and extremely protective of their paper nest, they patrol low to the ground looking for their insect prey. The white face and predominantly black body give this insect a bit of a threatening appearance - one that is well earned.
The adults also eat nectar, and are suckers for anything sweet.
This makes it easy to destroy a hive that's too close to civilization with my 'sweet death' mix. I mix up a couple of teaspoons of raspberry jam with some fruit juice or wine, and put it in a large wine bottle.
The wasps fly in, but after they feast on the sweetness, they can no longer fly straight upwards to get out of the neck of the bottle, and eventually drown.
Most of them die happy.
I leave most wasp nests alone as I've become more allergic to them with age, and only the ones too close for comfort get targeted.
Wasps and hornets of all kinds eat and feed their young so many pest insects that it's worth leaving them to do their job.
See also the pages on Wasps, Bees and Syrphid Flies for more wasplike insects.
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