Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Mystery soved

The bee mystery is solved thanks to a nifty website , ,which will answer all your insect questions. Apparently my bees are male bumblebees which are out looking for a queen to mate with - sort of like a bunch of guys hanging around the local WaWa, hoping for some action.

Here's a neat hint from the BugGuide people : look for insects early in the morning when they are sluggish from the cool night time temperatures. It makes them easy to spot and observe and easier to photograph, too.

This little guy isn't going anywhere anytime soon. I found him this morning on a tomato plant - if you are squeamish, don't look !

This is a tomato hornworm and a parasitic wasp has laid eggs on, or rather in, his back. The rest I leave up to your imagination, but I think I hear tiny little sucking noises....

Life in the tranquil countryside is anything but, eh ?

1 comment:

Marvin said...

The only good hornworm is one that's serving as a host for parasitic wasps.

BTW: I'm certainly no expert, but I think the hornworm in your photo may not be a tomato hornworm. I've always called them tomato hornworms. I still call them tomato hornworms. However, while poking around on BugGuide recently, I discovered that the caterpillar most often found eating tomato plants is actually a tobacco hornworm. Go figure. If it has a red tail, it's a tobacco hornworm. Here are a couple of links if you want to check it out:

Good luck with your beekeeping!