This is one cool looking dude when you get a close view. As my wife’s flower gardens are in full bloom, I have been taking my macro lens out to play with the bugs.
While bees don’t really bother me, I have to admit, wasps kind of freak me out. I figure if a bee stings me, at least I have the satisfaction that it will die afterwards. Wasps though, those buggers hit you and keep coming after you – and I have had it happen.
Last week there were quite a few paper wasps sucking nectar from the flowers so I set aside my irrational fear and stuck my camera right up close to some. I really can’t help but be amazed at the intricacy and detail of their coloring. They do look pretty danged neat – as long as they aren’t chasing me. 😀
Doing some research, I learned this is a European paper wasp (Polistes dominula) – distinguished from the more common yellowjacket by its yellow / orange antennae.
They were first found on the East Coast in the 1970s and have worked their way west, first arriving in Colorado sometime soon before 2000 and are now quite common.
Interestingly enough, they are generally less aggressive than yellowjackets and some types of bees. I guess maybe I don’t need to be so freaked out by them. Haha.