Welcome to Colleen’s Corner. This is a column meant for fun and some information About myself: I am a Freelance Photographer you often see me on the side of the road or in various places taking photos of different things animals, birds, places, people etc. l have lived in Lumby just over 8 years you have seen my photos in the newspaper (Lumby Valley Times) and once in awhile in the Vernon Morning Star, and the Lumby Art Gallery. Photography is my passion. Disclaimer: The information on some of my photos that I write about a lot of times come from the Internet or books I research them, hopefully the facts are as close to the truth as I can come.
I was sitting in my yard yesterday and saw this weird bug flying around. This bug had larger wings than some of the other insects that you see around here. It landed a lot on my pine trees. I watched it for awhile trying to figure it out. Then it landed on the table, it was actually kind of pretty with it’s steel blue back, see through wings and a red/orange belly. Tim saw it and killed it right away saying that the sting of this bug would hurt a lot. I was curious about what this bug actually was. So of course I took its picture and looked it up. It’s called a Sirex Wood Wasp, which is related to the Horn Tail Wasp. Although the stinger looked like it was an inch long it wasn’t really, and it did look like it would hurt a lot and probably leave a big bump, but apparently these types of wasps do not bite or sting, I was really glad to hear that. As adults they can get as big as 1 1/2 inches long.
They are native to Europe, Asia, and Northern Africa and have only been in Canada since about 2005 the thought is that they came through wood packing material. They can kill your trees, they like pine but will choose other trees as well.
Unlike other types of insects that are invasive the wood wasp has a few enemies Woodpeckers, and aerial predators like Swallowtails, and Swifts enjoy these insects as a tasty snack.
Along with seeing this unusual wasp flying around, there were tons of aphids flying around as well, they are kind of creepy as they swarm around you getting in your face and eyes. If you have any bright colours in your yard like yellows and greens they are very attracted to those colours and you will see a hundred or more on that item, I had brought out a snack for Tim and I on bright green plates. The aphids gathered on it like they were having a meeting. Yuck, so gross.
Hopefully soon these bugs will be gone and I can sit in my backyard without them. That would be great.