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2993 Views 6 Replies Last post: Feb 14, 2014 9:13 AM by TRW RSS
Currently Being Moderated

Aug 9, 2013 12:13 PM

Wasp pollination

Whilst recently photographing Broad-leaved Helleborine in Kent, I noticed the following that I would welcome cooment on:


1.  flowers were being pollinated by Bees as well as Wasps - is this usual?

2.  many of the Wasps had pollinia (?) attached to their heads, again, is this usual?

3.  lastly, I found a number of dead Wasps with pollinia attached to their heads and wondered why this would be?


Please see photos attached

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 12, 2014 2:56 PM (in response to TRW)
    Re: Wasp pollination


    I don't know what species you photographed, but yes, wasps pollinate too.

    You could try to ID the wasps by comparing your photos or your memories (photos are a bit blurry) with those on this page:

    Or you could try to post the images on iSpot:


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      • Currently Being Moderated
        Feb 13, 2014 3:02 PM (in response to TRW)
        Re: Wasp pollination


        Sorry I couldn't help more. If you could find an expert (obviously not on this forum!) she may tell you more.

        I can only answer point 3. It would be extraordinary for a wasp to suffocate with pollinia. Insects breathe through spiracles, and wasps have them on the abdomen. They don't have lungs opening in nostrils on head, like us.



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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 13, 2014 6:31 PM (in response to TRW)
    Re: Wasp pollination



    You said you had taken these photos "recently".  I think most wasps die off in the autumn, or at least the workers of the common wasp do, leaving only the queens to hibernate over the winter.  Could it be that the dead wasps had simply reached the end of their natural life span and happened to die after their last meal of nectar?


    Or if it was more recently than that, perhaps they died of cold or disease?



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