This years vegetable garden was mostly flowers. I knew at the beginning of the year that I was not going to have much free time. The only vegetables I planted were potatoes…
Much of the garden was filled with sunflowers. I cut the heads several weeks ago to dry the seeds and left the stalks. This week I attempted to put the garden to bed for the year and found nature was not finished with them yet.
I pulled about half a dozen stalks when I noticed wasps… and not just a couple
Now your thinking… how could I have missed them… there are always bees and bugs in the garden… for the most part I just ignore them. This time I could not as there were hundreds.
They seemed to ignore me but not wanting to temp fate I left the stalks for another time and grabbed the nearest thing to a macro camera I have, my Sony A77 and an old Minotla 70-210 f4.0 lens. A nice macro lens is something I really want to get but for now this worked pretty well.
Watching the wasps it was obvious there were several “factions” and they would tussle at times.
The fights would only last seconds and the parties would go their separate ways. Its my understanding that certain types of sunflowers are among those plants that have Extrafloral Nectaries — little glands on the plant’s surface (on stems, leaf nodes) which secrete nectar even when the plant isn’t blooming. So I guess that is what the wasps were after.
In the end I left them to have the stalks. I will wait until after the first hard frost to remove them without risking being stung