Three Brand New Baby Girls

Ahhhh, at last!  I’ve been visiting my queen wasp very regularly over the past couple of weeks.  She has been working and working and working, and making what has seemed like very slow progress on her nest.  Finally, her first daughters have been born, and so now they can get to work!

Thank you (again) to yoshizen for offering the information about these newborns.  He also warned that they are likely to be quite aggressive and will defend the nest, so I should watch out.  I am definitely being careful.  A couple of days before the female worker wasps were born, I managed to get a few interesting shots of the queen by herself.  She is easy to photograph because she is simply always hanging around the nest.  I don’t know why that surprised me.  I’ve grown quite fond of her now and am utterly fascinated by all the different ways she moves her body.  Yoshizen mentioned that the way we know she is a wasp is by her two sets of wings, which you can see in the first and third of photographs below.  In the first image, I’m almost certain she is smiling at me. 😀


57 responses

  1. these are awesome

    June 9, 2012 at 10:34 am

  2. great!

    June 9, 2012 at 11:19 am

  3. They are superb shots ! The firs one shows the eggs in the cells as well.
    The second photo, wasp looks biting the edge = in fact she is building the
    wall of cell, by putting more wood pulp mixed with her saliva.
    When I attempted to take picture of the wasp nest, (it was before SLR camera)
    It was by an American range-finder camera, Argus, closest distance was 3 feet.
    The shots like this was beyond a dream. (even for an entomologists then :-))

    June 9, 2012 at 11:53 am

    • I was so happy that the eggs were visible in the shot. And remember I’m using my Lumix for these shots, not a DSLR. I was amazed by how close these wasps let me get to them. The queen has the habit of seeing me now very regularly, and now her young ones do, too. I don’t know if that makes the difference or not, but I can literally get my lens inches from them, and they do not seem bothered. I do a few test shots about a foot out, and then inch my way in, getting closer and closer, to see just how close I can get. I certainly don’t want to bother or upset them, and would step away immediately at any sign of distress. They really haven’t shown any signs of stress at my presence. I’m eager to see how things develop now at the nest.

      June 10, 2012 at 12:39 am

      • It seems your very patient attitude and steady hand (no sudden movement) convinced them, you are no different from a big tree leaves. 😀
        When their second lot of larvae hatched, they start hunt and feed the babies. Then if you like, you may bring small
        amount of minced meat for them and observe them to take it back and feed. (Stick the meat nearby branch = they got sensitive nose (?) and soon find it out though, I wouldn’t say they can be tamed. 😀 )
        They looks slightly slimmer still they seemed to be the same species which we call Ashi-naga-bachi in Japan.
        With an ample supply of minced meat, the nest may grow up to 4″ big. 😀 (When I was in my junior school, I received prizes on the studies of Wasp’s nest making, and I extended the study to Hornet Wasp which nest was
        1.5′ big —- Hornet Wasp itself is 1.5″ big ! ) They are interesting beautiful creatures in deed.

        June 10, 2012 at 2:26 am

  4. Awesome captures!

    June 9, 2012 at 12:05 pm

  5. Magnifiques photos et en plus, elles posent pour toi 😉

    June 9, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    • 🙂 J’avais vraiment de la chance. Parfois, j’ai l’impression que ces insectes me regardent droit dans les yeux.

      June 10, 2012 at 12:33 am

  6. Great collection of macros

    June 9, 2012 at 12:59 pm

  7. It’s amazing how getting in close makes the wasps seem more sympathetic. Fascinating shots.

    June 9, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    • Thank you so much for your comment, Richard. The more I’ve explored the insect world, the more respect and admiration I’ve developed for insects. They are really incredible little beings.

      June 9, 2012 at 9:20 pm

  8. Melanie, I love your insect photos the best. And your insect/flower posts take the cake.

    June 9, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    • Thanks so much, Bryan. I really enjoy photographing insects. I am utterly fascinated by their tiny bodies.

      June 9, 2012 at 9:18 pm

  9. fantastic details! just awesome!

    June 9, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    • Thank you, Joanna! I’ve enjoyed watching them. I’ll be eager to watch this little family grow. 🙂

      June 9, 2012 at 9:15 pm

  10. So sharp!!! It looks so unreal, very beautiful!

    June 9, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    • Thank you. They are fairly easy to “capture” since they are clinging to the nest at this point and I was able to get very close to them. Quite a striking family they make in person.

      June 9, 2012 at 9:15 pm

  11. Love these shots Melanie, I’m very impressed with the detail.
    It looks like they were looking to your eyes!

    June 10, 2012 at 6:19 am

  12. Awesome pictures !!

    June 10, 2012 at 8:10 am

  13. Great shots….but how do you know they are girls 😉

    June 10, 2012 at 9:59 am

    • We know they’re girls because the males aren’t born until later in the summer. 🙂

      June 10, 2012 at 10:06 am

  14. What a rare and interesting thing to see!

    June 10, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    • Yes, I’ve been really enjoying following this little family. Thank you for your comment.

      June 12, 2012 at 12:26 pm

  15. Ooooh ! Dangerous and wonderful shots !!!

    June 10, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    • Thank you, Mathias! They’re a lot of fun to watch, these wasps.

      June 12, 2012 at 12:32 pm

      • I can imagine … but I do not really like when they “touch” me …it can be kind of painful 😀

        June 13, 2012 at 1:45 pm

  16. Fantastic photos! Be careful though! You may think they are your friends, but I’m certain they don’t. 😦

    June 10, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    • Thanks, Carissa. Believe me, I know they don’t consider me friends. But somehow they don’t seem bothered by my watching them, even with my camera just inches from their nest and bodies. That may change over time, who knows. For now, however, they seem used to my visits. I’m sure they’re aware I’m there.

      June 12, 2012 at 12:34 pm

  17. Great post and beautiful shots!

    I’ve really enjoyed keeping up with your blog over the last 6 months or so! So much so that I mentioned your blog in my recent post for The Versatile Blogger Award! Cheers!

    June 10, 2012 at 8:53 pm

  18. Wow – very nice – you got really close to the wasp 🙂 great shots.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:52 am

    • Thank you very much. Yes, I’ve been luck to have the chance to get so close. Since I visit the nest so regularly, they somehow don’t seem to mind.

      June 12, 2012 at 12:36 pm

  19. Intriguing, Melanie…and what an alluring title to the post…certainly not what I imagined when I first saw it…though not surprised when I combined it with what I know of the author…. Very nice. 🙂

    June 11, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    • It’s funny how that title just came out naturally for me, and I’m sure struck others as a bit odd. But there it is. 🙂

      It sort of humanizes insects in a way, and certainly they are NOT human, but I feel an empathy for them that I love to share.

      June 12, 2012 at 12:46 pm

      • Maybe it speaks to a deeper connection to life and what it offers. Not to get too philosophical, but I think it’s easier to see things in such a manner when we recognize how precious life truly is…even in an insect…and a typically scorned one at that. You did them well, Melanie. 🙂

        June 12, 2012 at 12:54 pm

  20. Great shots dear Melanie, Thanks and Love, nia

    June 11, 2012 at 9:11 pm

  21. These are so real they look like animation! Wow 🙂

    June 11, 2012 at 11:22 pm

  22. Fabulous shots. I’m envious of how close you get to your subject and get such clarity.

    June 12, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    • Thank you. I’ve been fortunate that those wasps have been so busy with their nest-making that they haven’t been too concerned with my camera lens. I’ve practically had it right on top of them, and they’ve been okay with it. For now, anyway! 🙂

      June 15, 2012 at 10:33 am

  23. That colour is just unbelievable!! Great work!

    June 13, 2012 at 9:23 pm

  24. Wow!

    June 17, 2012 at 5:34 am

  25. Wasps are wonderful creatures. I’ve had the fortune to watch nest-building too, in the tropics of northern Australia. Those nests are quite different, a single largeish mud-tube opening with one larva in each. The mother will dive-bomb you if you get in her way, but won’t sting (these were the non-aggressive kind of wasp). I like your pix, especially the final one, such great detail.

    June 17, 2012 at 5:57 am

    • Thank you for your comment and nice words. I think I’ve seen photographs of the kind of wasp nest you have in northern Australia. I’m eager to see how this nest develops. At this point, it seems like construction has stopped for some reason. I’ve stopped by many times over the last several weeks. Queen and daughters are there, but the size of the nest hasn’t changed.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:38 pm

  26. Most excellent Melanie.. you and that Lumix are doing great work!

    June 20, 2012 at 6:05 pm

  27. He doesn’t look happy. Maybe he doesn’t like having his picture taken.

    June 21, 2012 at 3:54 am

  28. Or “She.” I look forward to the day when WordPress will let us edit our comments.

    June 21, 2012 at 3:55 am

  29. Pingback: My Favorite “Year of Pics” Photos So Far, from A to Z: Third Time is a Charm «

  30. Shutterbug Sage

    I love this photo so much that I blogged about it in my third “A to Z” post of the year here: Check it out if you get a sec!

    I really enjoy following your blog!

    June 23, 2012 at 3:41 am

  31. These are wondrous shots! They allow us to truly connect to the creatures and the way they live their lives. Marvelous:)

    July 1, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    • Thank you. I’m so glad you enjoyed them. I went back to visit this little family today and was pleased to see they’ve doubled in number! I’ll be sharing a brief update in the near future. Thank you for stopping by!

      July 2, 2012 at 12:45 am

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