Two individuals observed nectaring on Seaside Goldenrod and Gaillardia pulchella around 3:15 PM CST. Sunny; 68 F; light breeze.
Found a dead honey bee in my house. It's smaller than nickel. Very fuzzy with yellow and black strips.
Found this wasp nest while stalking insects at night. It is on a kanuka tree. The last 2 photos taken the next day to show the shape of the nest.
Ropalidia plebeiana (Richards, 1978), Aranda, ACT, 25 December 2015
Two very large, ground-level nests within 10 ft of each other
Probably queen V. vulgaris
Small wasp found deceased. I had seen a wasp very similar to this yesterday on Hebe flowers but it was too quick to take an image of.
The Vespidae are a large (nearly 5,000 species), diverse, cosmopolitan family of wasps, including nearly all the known eusocial wasps (such as Polistes annularis) and many solitary wasps. Each social wasp colony includes a queen and a number of female workers with varying degrees of sterility relative to the queen. In temperate social species, colonies usually only last one year, dying at the onset of winter. New queens and males (drones) are produced towards the end...