Yellowjacket wasps are a very common sight in North America, and although they are feared due to their nasty sting and aggressive nature, they play an important ecological role. Many are crucial for biological pest control, as well as pollination, much like bees. This wasp made a sudden appearance when a car was parked near a forested area. The car windshield had a streak of very fresh bug splatter running up it on the outside. The wasp appeared to have smelled an opportunity for a meal as it landed within a few seconds and began searching the glass for the fluid streak. The view from inside the car provides us with a unique perspective as the wasp finds the bug juice and begins to eat it with great enthusiasm. Perhaps the wasp is ever conscious of the fact that she is not the only predator in the area. She eats hurriedly and devours a significant amount of the fluid before cleaning her face and antennae and then flying away. Yellowjackets look very similar to paper wasps and both species build nests by chewing wood fiber to create a paper-like pulp. They also create dwellings in soil cavities and animal burrows. The females in the nest hunt for food, such as meat or fruit and they return to the nest to regurgitate some of this food to feed the larvae. The larvae produce a sugary substance which the adult wasps eat. Wasps work furiously to build large nests and colonies throughout the summer and autumn, often having 4,000 to 5,000 individuals in a single nest. Many of the insects that the wasp eats are harmful to agriculture so the wasp is considered beneficial to humans.
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