End of July Bug-a-palooza
We heard from a reliable source that Hymenopetra collections everywhere are down. That doesn’t mean we’ve been slow! Yesterday we removed the largest bumblee colony we’ve ever seen. The size of a child’s soccer ball and brimming with queens, it was full of honey cups and brood. Blindly reaching into a buzzing writhing pile of bugs is always an unnerving sensation but it was worth it to see the large, pale queens of next year ready for dispersal. The colony is now safely relocated to our backyard where the queens will soon set forth to start on their personal colonial adventures. Before leaving the house we found two sluggish Polistes dominula nests with us that we found under the eves of the clients garage.
Our next job was near Bald Peak state park outside of Tigard. The client had discovered a grapefruit sized Bald-faced Hornet (Dolichovespula maculata) nest in the peak of a pop-up tent for his tractor. While removing the hornets we searched their property for any other nests. We found a large ground nest of V. vulgaris after a few minutes of observing.
The last stop of the day was back on the Eastside. A colony of Vespula pennsylvanica were busy entering and exiting from three holes in the side of a house built in the early 20th century. In the crawl space we discovered that the colony was nestled in the insulation behind the three external holes. Before we left we did a second removal of a smaller, ground nest of V. vulgaris.