Saying Goodbye

Everybody is closing up for the winter. On Saturday, two of the Bald-faced Hornet Nests I pass while walking to the farmers’ market were still modesty active in 51 degree F weather.
A week ago, I saw this queen resting in the sun. The queens, who mate in the fall, are the only members of the hive who live beyond the first freeze. She will tuck herself out of the way, perhaps in some rotten wood, shut down for several months, and then wake up in the spring, ready to start a new hive.
And another, from Tuesday.

5 Responses to “Saying Goodbye”

  1. 1 wildreturn1 October 13, 2022 at 10:37 am


  2. 2 Chuck McAlexander October 13, 2022 at 7:08 pm

    What is the function ofnthe three brown dots on the brown surfac between the eyes in the last photo? Also visual?

    • 3 mthew October 14, 2022 at 8:01 am

      Those are simple eyes, ocelli; they detect polarized light, and the position of sun and are used in navigating, finding their way home, etc.

      • 4 Chuck McAlexander October 14, 2022 at 12:13 pm

        Anybody ever test to se what otheer bands of the electromagnetic spectrum the ocelli detect? Magnetism, maybe?

  3. 5 elwnyc October 13, 2022 at 11:25 pm

    One of my favorite wasps, probably because it’s one of the easiest to ID, and pretty besides.

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