Author Topic: Suicidal Wasps  (Read 3413 times)

Offline rodekyll

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Suicidal Wasps
« on: November 13, 2017, 04:09:40 AM »
I'm watching a big yellow wasp die.  It's the Yellow Jacket-looking kind that are bigger than Yellow Jackets, but stubby like a hornet, not long and thin like a mud dauber.  It's dying in the little room I'm growing a plant in.  I've been dropping in on it all day, checking its progress. 

This isn't the first one that's died this way.  It happened before, although more slowly, a few weeks ago.  A wasp buzzed into the house and found it's way to the plant, just like this one did.  It lit on a leaf and got busy foraging.  That's not unusual behavior -- they'll organize to strip a plant of aphids and other pests.  But then it fell out of the plant onto its back in the dirt.  It struggled to get upright -- clumsy, like a turtle. It was also panting.  That didn't seem like regular bee stuff, so I started paying attention.  Once upright it tested its wings, but instead of flying it walked a bee line back to the plant, climbed back up, found the leaf it had fallen off, and snuffled it thoroughly, taking frequent breaks to wipe itself down.  It fell again, and repeated several times, sometimes acting like it was asleep for a minute before scuttling back up the plant. 

The clumsiness and the persistent, immediate climb back to where it had left off was puzzling.  I left it a bottle cap of water, thinking it was dehydrated and looking for water on the leaves.  But it was very single minded about walking every bit of the plant, obviously eating as it went along.  It was also losing coordination and stumbling, tripping over itself, and falling to the dirt a lot.  I'd always thought of bees as fairly agile little things, but this one would simply lose its grip and slide off the plant.

I got a closer look with a magnifying glass and realized that the wasp wasn't eating aphids or other bugs.  It was finding the little resin glands that form on cannabis leaves and was eating the hash oil.  The little guy was getting stoned, and liked it so much that getting more was all that mattered.  It went on for over a day with the wasp repeating the cycle of munch, tip over, fall, dirt nap, charge back up, munch . . .

I put some hamburger and flat wine in bottle caps.  The wasp would stagger past the food on the way to the plant, uninterested.  It was stumbling and rolling onto its back on uneven dirt, and it was taking several attempts to get back into the foliage.  But once back, it would eat resin glands until it fell out again.  Often it fell during a fit of aggressively cleaning itself -- wiping down its legs and feelers and rubbing itself like it itched, almost like a dog with bad fleas. 

The wasp got weaker and less coordinated.  It was obvious that it was getting a pure pleasure buzz from eating the resins and that it was going to eat itself to death.  Some time in the second afternoon I began thinking it had died, but when I'd look again a half hour later, it would be at it again.  then late in the second day it was more curled up than usual, and I knew it was the long dirt nap this time. 

I thought it was an aberrant wasp that happened by some hash oil, liked it, and couldn't control itself even though it was OD-ing to death.  But I'm watching the exact same thing here again today -- another big yellow jacket single-mindedly killing itself with THC.  Today's has gotten stoned to where it can't fly anymore, but it's still pretty energetic.  I put it on a spoon and took it a few feet away from the plant.  It immediately walked across the floor, up the side of the flower pot, across the dirt, and back into the leaves.  About a minute and a half later it had fallen into the dirt onto its back.  I just went back and checked again -- it's lying on its back, rolling from side to side cleaning its antennae and wiping its back section with its legs.  Then it walks a couple inches and falls onto its side again.  It looks happy, anyway.

Offline ohiorider

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Re: Suicidal Wasps
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2017, 04:20:52 AM »
Quite a good tale!  A ready made short story.

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Offline bobrebos

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Re: Suicidal Wasps
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2017, 06:19:28 AM »
I read somewhere that the wasp population has quadrupled in Colorado over the last few years.  Why would that be???   :grin:
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Offline yogidozer

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Re: Suicidal Wasps
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2017, 06:41:54 AM »
I believe what you are seeing is a Cicada killer. usually not aggressive, unless you are trying to harm them.




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Re: Suicidal Wasps
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2017, 06:41:54 AM »

Offline troyhamilton

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Re: Suicidal Wasps
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2017, 06:56:44 AM »
once heres how my dad put it. bees are nice and work for us. but wasps and hornets are just jackasses!
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Offline Chuck in Indiana

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Re: Suicidal Wasps
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2017, 07:02:05 AM »
I think there is a lesson in here for us somewhere..
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Offline yogidozer

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Re: Suicidal Wasps
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2017, 07:05:47 AM »
I think there is a lesson in here for us somewhere..

there are doobies and do bees  :laugh:

Offline Sasquatch Jim

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Re: Suicidal Wasps
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2017, 07:15:19 AM »
 You must have some killer canabis.
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Re: Suicidal Wasps
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2017, 07:19:54 AM »
Um, what were we talking about again?

Offline chuck peterson

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Re: Suicidal Wasps
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2017, 07:26:44 AM »
I can empathize...I do the same with coffee...and, well,....that, too...
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Offline Lannis

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Re: Suicidal Wasps
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2017, 07:36:23 AM »
Mine drink themselves to death.

I put up with honeybees, bumblebees, and black bees because they're pollinators, and they won't sting unless you go out to where they are and mess with their home, or unless you accidentally step on one, which isn't their fault.

Paper wasps, yellow jackets, and European hornets are another kettle of herrings altogether.   They will come to where YOU are and aggressively mess with you, and they don't die when they sting you like a honey bee.

So I have little glass hornet traps hanging and sitting around.   Glass bulbs with a concave opening in the bottom.   Put a little beer in the bottom, let it get stale, and the stingers climb in to get it and can't get out.    I get thousands of them out of circulation every year, and the house is a safer place for it.   Honeybees and such aren't interested, but the nasty yellow jackets and thumb-sized hornets are ....

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Offline yogidozer

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Re: Suicidal Wasps
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2017, 07:39:58 AM »
Um, what were we talking about again?

chips and devil dogs?  :shocked:

Offline steven c

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Re: Suicidal Wasps
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2017, 08:30:19 AM »
 Reminds me of some friends back in HIGH school.
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Offline Klaus

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Re: Suicidal Wasps
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2017, 09:50:07 AM »
Mine drink themselves to death.
 and European hornets are another kettle of herrings altogether.   They will come to where YOU are and aggressively mess with you, and they don't die when they sting you like a honey bee.



Lannis

Sorry Lannis, but here I have to contradict you. European hornets are not aggressive, unless you mess with their home or step on it, like you stated. Wasps and other little stinging suckers are a different story. Hornets eat them, so they are your allies. (Well, they eat honey bees, too) I once watched a hornet attacking a whole convening of wasps and other stinging harassments gathered under my parasol. This killer was fast, he killed about four or five wasps and a couple of other flyers within a minute by biting of their heads. Very effective, was impressive. So leave the hornets alone, they are on our side ! :cool: :thumb:

Offline Triple Jim

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Re: Suicidal Wasps
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2017, 09:55:32 AM »
Any chance it was a Hoverfly?  (non-stinging insect that mimics wasps in appearance)





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Offline Dean Rose

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Re: Suicidal Wasps
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2017, 10:20:05 AM »
You must have some killer canabis.

Share?  :cool:

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Offline Chuck in Indiana

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Re: Suicidal Wasps
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2017, 10:32:39 AM »
"Don't Bogart that joint, my friend.." Wrote a song about it.  :smiley:
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Offline Travman

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Re: Suicidal Wasps
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2017, 11:49:40 AM »
Perhaps your stoned hornets are the dreaded Japanese Giant Hornets, which are a danger to the honeybees.  You may have stumbled upon a form of pest control that will benefit society. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_giant_hornet

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Offline Yukonica

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Re: Suicidal Wasps
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2017, 11:56:32 AM »
I have an imitation hornet's nest that hangs near my porch.
Unless it is a particularly bad wasp season, the area around the BBQ is clear of pests.
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Offline Lannis

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Re: Suicidal Wasps
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2017, 12:54:59 PM »
Sorry Lannis, but here I have to contradict you. European hornets are not aggressive, unless you mess with their home or step on it, like you stated. Wasps and other little stinging suckers are a different story. Hornets eat them, so they are your allies. (Well, they eat honey bees, too) I once watched a hornet attacking a whole convening of wasps and other stinging harassments gathered under my parasol. This killer was fast, he killed about four or five wasps and a couple of other flyers within a minute by biting of their heads. Very effective, was impressive. So leave the hornets alone, they are on our side ! :cool: :thumb:

The hornets end up in my house and shop.   I don't mess with their houses, they shouldn't mess with mine.   Those buggers are too big to take a risk with!   

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Offline Klaus

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Re: Suicidal Wasps
« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2017, 01:30:21 PM »
Sissy !

 :laugh:

Just kiddin´! I also don´t want them in my house. But wasps are much more aggressive.

Offline Mr Revhead

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Re: Suicidal Wasps
« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2017, 03:15:11 PM »
We have two types of wasps here in NZ.
Arseholes. And wankers.
All deserve to die. They are both introduced and a through nasty pain in the arse.

Offline normzone

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Re: Suicidal Wasps
« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2017, 04:23:15 PM »
Interesting that they'd have that level of attraction.

I've heard tell of a lizard eating multiple young plants, until it was unable to advance to the next one.

I know of a dog who wolfed down a plate of brownies, then slept for a day and a half, to awake with a splitting headache and a permanent avoidance of the stuff.

We had a common rat that ate 1.5 g of the finest, then wandered through the house in broad daylight. He ended that night in a trap, lured by peanut butter.

Insects are attracted to fumes - gasoline, alcohol. But I wonder why a wasp to resin .... and why to overindulgence. You could be on to an environmentally non toxic bug killer, but I don't think I'll be able to afford it.
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Offline Zoom Zoom

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Re: Suicidal Wasps
« Reply #23 on: November 14, 2017, 04:23:42 AM »
Cheap entertainment! :grin:

Been following since your original post. I must also say, some very interesting responses. :boozing:

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Offline MotoBug

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Re: Suicidal Wasps
« Reply #24 on: November 14, 2017, 07:45:28 PM »

Offline Ozzydog

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Re: Suicidal Wasps
« Reply #25 on: November 14, 2017, 08:09:39 PM »
You better mail me a little sample of that stuff there buddy, I'd like to see if it affects me that way :-)
Andy


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