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nafex - Re: [NAFEX] wasps and yellow jackets

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  • From: "Donna &/or Kieran" <>
  • To: "nottke1" <>, "North American Fruit Explorers" <>
  • Subject: Re: [NAFEX] wasps and yellow jackets
  • Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2007 23:42:16 -0500

The trip over to Clemson SC to the NAFEX conference was informative. Here on the Highland Rim in Tennessee we seem to have no yellow jackets at all this year, and though fewer wasp nests, those we have are doing very well because of the lack of competition. Over in the Tennessee Valley we visited friends who have neither yellow jackets nor wasps this year. Up in the mountains at the campground at Cosby TN there were two holes within 10 feet of our tent where yellow jacket nests had been eaten by a bear. We discovered them soon after picking a campsite at dusk, looking for sticks to make a fire. We didn't like the idea of the bear, but figured that he wouldn't be back as the nests had been eaten already. I personally can think of about 10,000 reasons why it's a good idea to have a bear eat yellow jackets, and the next day we weren't bothered a bit by them. But we hardly slept a wink all night knowing there was nothing but a bit of flimsy nylon between us and any passing bears. The rangers said the bears are hungry due to the ongoing drought, so they were coming into the campground in search of the yellow jacket nests.
Skunks tend to dig a small hole, eat every wasp in the colony, and leave the shredded paper nest after cleaning out all the grubs. Bears apparently move rocks around looking for the nest, scoop the entire layer of soil off the nest, and them lift out and eat the paper nest and grubs, leaving some adults behind. Donna

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