Paper wasps on boneset
AuthorTopic: Paper wasps on boneset Read 980 Times
Still Life & Macroon: September 23, 2020 at 8:55 pm
I don’t shoot many bugs any more, but the swarm of various species of bees and wasps on our boneset patch today was so amazing that I grabbed my bug-hunting gear. These are a species of paper wasp, I think, but I’d welcome a correction.
The equipment was an old 7D with a 100mm macro, a 10mm extension, a 1.4x converter, and a diffused flash.
Comments welcome, of course.
Silver MemberPosts: 1212Re: Paper wasps on bonesetReply #1 on: September 23, 2020 at 10:18 pm
Wow, well done. These things give me the creeps. Bad experience once.
Mike Nelson Pedde
ParticipantPosts: 641Re: Paper wasps on bonesetReply #2 on: September 26, 2020 at 9:24 pm
As long as you don’t appear to be a threat they’ll generally ignore you. Where it can be a challenge is if they’re building a new home on your front porch or something like that. Best thing to do in a case like that is to wait for night, surround the entire nest with a bag and tie it off at the top. If you inflate a paper bag and hang it up they’ll generally avoid the area as they’ll see it as a nest and they don’t like competition. We once had a white-faced wasp colony build a huge nest in a tree in our front yard, and we’d stand about 3′ away and watch them. They’d zoom in and out past us, busy with their own work. They make the ‘paper’ by chewing up wood into pulp and mixing it with their saliva. Fascinating stuff. If you have a local wasp colony and hang out sheets of construction paper, they’ll be happy to use that and you’ll end up with a multi-coloured nest. The paper nests are only used to hatch/raise young. They typically winter underground. Oh, and if you’re a gardener, wasps are great predators to have in the garden for caterpillars and things like that.
Excellent images, too!
Mike Nelson Pedde
https://www.wolfnowl.com/Re: Paper wasps on bonesetReply #3 on: September 27, 2020 at 10:30 am
That’s the case with most species. One has to get very close to get photos like this, so I have spent a lot of time inches away from various species of bees and wasps without any problems. We have no Africanized bees here, and all of the species of bees I’ve encountered are completely unaggressive if you leave them alone. I think wasp species are more varied. For example, late in the season, when they hang around humans looking for food, yellow jackets can sting even if you aren’t near their nest. Many species will also sting if you accidentally threaten them, e.g., by getting too close when you don’t see them. I once got stung sitting on a bus on my way home. I also got stung years ago by a polistes, I think it was, in someone’s apartment and ended up in the hospital.
ParticipantPosts: 2Re: Paper wasps on bonesetReply #4 on: May 29, 2021 at 1:08 pm
I have all that equipment but can’t usually get such an even throw of light. Did you use a ring light? Or was it Canon’s Macro light system? Great images, sharp and clear. Thanks.Re: Paper wasps on bonesetReply #5 on: May 29, 2021 at 1:57 pm
I never use a ring light. They tend to give very flat and uninteresting lighting. I generally position a regular flash head near the lens, with a great deal of diffusion. Here’s an iPhone shot of one rig I have used. The bracket holding the flash is a DIY one made from a straight bracket and two mini-ballheads, but I sometimes use a Wimberley macro bracket, https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/240878-REG/Wimberley_F_2_Combo_2_Macro_Combo.html. The key to diffusion is lots of it. In this rig, I have the flash’s own diffuser on, and the “coke can diffuser” (google it) over the front has a couple of sheets of baking parchment paper. The coke can diffuser is a way to get the final head large relative to the subject, which reduces reflections.
ParticipantPosts: 2Re: Paper wasps on bonesetReply #6 on: May 30, 2021 at 7:31 am
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