Archive | March 2023


“Whether they have roots, wings, fins or hooves, all living things — humans included — sense when spring is around the corner. Animals in particular undergo certain changes in behaviour that signal spring is coming.

Here are some of the ways that local wildlife species greet the arrival of warmer, milder weather in the Ottawa–Gatineau region.

Regarding the forest with spring coming, hibernating animals — like bears, bats, and some squirrels and chipmunks — wake up from their long winter naps. Animals that hibernate sometimes do wake up in the winter months, but not for long periods of time.

In the spring, though, all animals that hibernate leave their deep sleeps for good. They start to take advantage of the more abundant food supply and comfortable conditions that spring offers. Spring also welcomes new baby animals to the forest floor, such as deer and coyotes. “.


Those creatures waking up from hibernating since last year!

For animals that hibernate, making it to spring is no small feat. Torpor — the state of reduced bodily activity that occurs during hibernation — is not restful. By the time they emerge, hibernating animals are often sleep-deprived: Most expend huge bursts of energy to arouse themselves occasionally in the winter so their body temperatures don’t dip too low. This back-and-forth is exhausting, and hibernators do it with little to no food and water. By winter’s end, some have shed more than half their body weight.

But just because it’s spring doesn’t mean it’s time to celebrate. Spring means getting ready for the full speed of summer — and

With the onset of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, animals that hibernate are waking up from a long-period of deep sleep. They spent the winter hibernating to conserve energy when food was scarce. Animals that hibernate include bats, black bears, Arctic ground squirrels, and common poorwill birds. Many other species such as raccoons and skunks go into a state of torpor during the cold weather, which is a type of light hibernation. Most hibernators wake up during the months of March and April, but some do so as late as May.

This would include the following creatures:

1.) Bats  

Many types of bats hibernate through the long, cold winter in caves. Bats that hibernate include the little brown bat, the big brown bat, and the northern long-eared bat. During hibernation, their body temperature, heart rate, breathing rate, and metabolism drop to very low levels. This allows them to get by without food or water and stay in a dormant state for long periods of time.

Fertilization happens a few days after females emerge from hibernation. After leaving their winter caves, they move to a large tree or another cave. “They want a warm, stable environment where they can develop their young,” said Joy M. O’Keefe, a bat expert and assistant professor at Indiana State University.

Bats often return to the same maternity spot year after year, sometimes traveling hundreds of miles to get there. Dozens of mothers will congregate at these sites, cuddling to keep warm. When their pups are born, 50 to 60 days later, mothers may help each other by taking turns foraging for insects and roosting with the group.  With no parenting responsibilities, and perhaps to avoid competing with the females, males will stay in torpor for longer — making their hibernation spaces real man caves in the spring.

As spring arrives, so do bats! Many naturalists state during this season looking for migrating salamanders and blossoming bloodroot.   They never thought much about what bats are doing this time of year.

It turns out these flying mammals, who retreated into hibernation back in the fall, are emerging from April through May, as the weather grows consistently warmer and insects again fill the air.

2.) Bears

When spring arrives and the snow begins to melt, bears start to wake up after months of hibernation. It is an exciting time of the year for bears and park visitors. When bears emerge from their dens, understandably hungry, they immediately begin to search for food. And there is plenty to eat.  Receding snow reveals vegetation rich in nutrients. Winter kill – deer, elk, moose or anything else that may fancy a bear’s taste buds, are easy pickings. It’s an important time of the year for a bear as it begins the process of nourishing itself, continually gorging on food throughout the year in preparation for hibernation in the fall.  For visitors beginning their spring and summer vacations, the emergence of bears means a chance to see a bruin in its natural habitat, its home. But it also means that another food source presents itself to bears – the food you may accidentally (or intentionally) leave behind or provide. Storing your food and disposing of garbage properly can mean life or death to a bear. Be sure to always properly store food in bear country. 

One of the many reasons people visit national parks with bears is to experience a wild place capable of supporting healthy populations of black and grizzly bears. When visitors become careless and do not properly store their food, bears are undoubtedly going to find it; their sense of smell is amazing. When visitors feed bears, it’s a recipe for trouble. If bears become used to approaching people and eating human food (we call that habituation), the bear no longer seeks the natural food it is supposed to be foraging for. This creates a management and safety problem for park visitors and bears. While park staff work to manage bears and visitors, sometimes there is a need to remove a bear from a park. Imagine what that does to the ecosystem and your experience as a visitor coming to see a bear. For many, it means the park experience is diminished, and the ecosystem isn’t as intact.

When we visit a park with bears, we are entering their home. As guests, proper behavior and etiquette on our part can contribute to a safe and enjoyable visit for us as our hosts.

3.) Arctic Squirrels: 

Arctic ground squirrels are the largest of the North American ground squirrel species, ranging from 524 up to 1,500 grams in weight, and 332 to 495 mm in length. They undergo seasonal changes in body mass and lose weight during hibernation. They exhibit sexual dimorphism, with males being larger than females. Body mass drastically varies seasonally, between summer foraging bouts and winter hibernation. They have tawny brown coloration with white flecks on the dorsal side of the pelage and a light tan or beige coloration on their undersides. Their undersides lighten during winter months.

During the onset of cold weather, Arctic ground squirrels dig deep burrows in the ground and hibernate. One scientist attached temperatures sensors to their abdomens and recorded body temperatures in hibernating squirrels as low as -2.9 degrees Celsius (26.8 degrees Fahrenheit), which is below the temperature that water freezes! The squirrel’s blood, however, does not freeze in part because it is salty and also because they have some sort of “super cool” supercooling mechanism that protects them. Scientists are actively researching the brain activity of hibernating Arctic ground squirrels for insights into how to protect people from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and to help them recover from brain injuries. Specifically, the brains of Arctic ground squirrels show a remarkable ability to bounce back after months of dormancy that degrades neuronal connections.

Arctic ground squirrels generally begin hibernation in the beginning of August and wake up in early April, when the males dig their way out from underground.

4.) Common poorwill  

Most birds migrate south when the weather turns cold, but the common poorwill stays put and hibernates. Poorwills are the only bird species known to hibernate. They can be found in the western United States and Canada. Native Americans often referred to this bird as “the sleeping one.”

5.) Torpor = Racco0n and Skunk

Torpor is a state of light hibernation that many animals enter into to survive the winter. Animals that use torpor as a survival strategy include raccoons and skunks. 

While there is no bright line that separates animals that hibernate from those that use torpor, it generally comes down to the length of time that an animal spends in dormancy and the extent to which its body temperature and metabolic rate are depressed. Torpor is associated with brief periods of dormancy, sometimes for only a few hours, and small physiological changes, whereas hibernation is associated with lengthy periods of dormancy and large physiological changes.

6.) Reptiles:

Scientists use the term brumation to refer to hibernating-like states in reptiles,

which are not warm-blooded animals so the physiological responses are a bit different from those in mammals and birds. Insects enter cold-induced dormant periods too, and this is referred to by the term diapause. Often on the internet, the term hibernation will be used as a catch-all phrase for all of these types of dormant states.

The exact triggers that cause an animal to enter into and emerge from hibernation aren’t well known, but combinations of factors such as changes in temperature, daylight, and food availability are thought to play an important role. Especially critical is an animal’s internal biological clock, which will initiate hormone changes when it is time for the animal to wake up.

Bottom line: Hibernation is a survival strategy that animals use during the winter to conserve energy when food is scarce. Animals that hibernate include bats, black bears, Arctic ground squirrels, and common poorwill birds.


“Bees, wasps, and hornets are most abundant in the warmer months. CDC recommends you should take the following steps to prevent insect stings:

  • Wear light-colored, smooth-finished clothing.
  • Avoid perfumed soaps, shampoos, and deodorants.
    • Don’t wear cologne or perfume.
    • Avoid bananas and banana-scented toiletries.
  • Wear clean clothing and bathe daily. (Sweat may anger bees.)
  • Wear clothing to cover as much of the body as possible.
  • Avoid flowering plants when possible.
  • Keep work areas clean. Social wasps thrive in places where humans discard food.
  • Remain calm and still if a single stinging insect is flying around. (Swatting at an insect may cause it to sting.)
  • If you are attacked by several stinging insects at once, run to get away from them. (Bees release a chemical when they sting, which may attract other bees.)
    • Go indoors.
    • A shaded area is better than an open area to get away from the insects.
    • If you are able to physically move out of the area, do not to attempt to jump into water. Some insects (particularly Africanized Honey Bees) are known to hover above the water, continuing to sting once you surface for air.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention –  CDC (

Part II Be alert to the spring and summer insect stinger visitors including know why they sting=Bees!

Types of Bees:

A.) Honeybees:  honey bees 

Honey bees have been around longer than humans; there is fossil evidence from 150 million years ago! Honeybees are highly social insects. Honeybees can contain up to 60,000 bees in its colony at its peak. Honeybees can fly up to 15 miles an hour. Worker bees are sexually undeveloped females. They build hives, forage for pollen and nectar for food and circulate air within the hive by beating their wings, among other tasks. The queen’s main job is to lay eggs, though she also directs activity within the hive. Male bees are called drones. In winter months when the hive needs to conserve resources, drones are expelled. Honeybees can only sting once, causing the bee to die, as the stinger and the venom sack get stuck in the victim’s flesh after use.

Many people are afraid of bees because they think they will be stung by them, but bees are far more interested in going about their business foraging for pollen and nectar than they are in ‘stinging’ human beings. It actually takes a lot to provoke a bee to sting you – and many of our UK bees don’t sting at all.

Honeybees……. will sting if defending their honey stores or their queen, or if they think you are threatening their life by standing or sitting on them.  Honeybees have a barb at the end of their sting which remains under your skin after they have stung.  When a honey bee stings a person, it cannot pull the barbed stinger back out. It leaves behind not only the stinger, but also part of its abdomen and digestive tract, plus muscles and nerves. Honey bees, including killer bees, have barbed stingers that tear off when they try to fly away after stinging, so these bees die after the sting and thus can sting only one time. In this case the stinger and venom sac typically remain embedded in the skin of the victim.This massive abdominal rupture kills the honey bee. Honey bees are the one of the few species of bees to die after stinging. They usually die right after they have stung.  It is worth noting that honeybees have a somewhat variable temperament, from extremely docile to quite tetchy. This is down to genetics: certain crosses can be hard to handle, even by experienced beekeepers. The good news is that honeybees almost never sting anyone who is not close to their nest/hive, so don’t worry about being stung whilst gardening or walking through a field. You are less likely to be stung whilst honeybees are swarming than at any other time.  Male honeybees have no sting If you have reason to think you may be allergic to bee venom, you should carry an Epipen (A PREPARED EPINEPHRINE DOSE WITH A NEEDLE to prevent anaphylactic reaction.).


B.) Bumblebees:  bumble bees2 bumble bees

Like their relatives the honey bees, bumblebees feed on nectar, using the long hairy tongue (proboscis) to lap up the liquid; the proboscis is folded under the head for flight. Bumblebees gather pollen to feed their young

They will only sting if their nest is threatened or if you squeeze them, sit on them or stand on them. They are not naturally aggressive and it takes a lot to provoke them. If they feel threatened by you they will ‘tell’ you. They do this by raising one of their middle legs in the air. When you move away they will put their leg back down again – but if you go closer (and if they are unhappy about this) they will lift another leg in the air. If you go closer still – they will lift two legs up vertically in the air or turn on their back and show you their sting! This is called ‘posturing’ but very rarely leads to them actually stinging you.  If bumblebees DO ever sting, their sting has no barb like the honeybee, so they will not die afterwards 🙂 Male bumblebees do not have a sting.  You can identify the males of some species quite easily by their pale yellow facial hair and little yellow moustaches. Also, male bumblebees are in less hurry than the females when foraging and have thin hairy legs (females have a wide shiny, smooth top corbicula on their back legs and are often carrying pollen)

C.) Solitary bees:  solitarybees1solitarybees2

There are over 230 species of solitary bee in the UK and it is VERY rare for anyone to be stung by one of these bees. As solitary bees have no honey stores to protect, there is no reason for nature to have provided them with a good defence weapon like the honeybee. The females are equipped with tiny stings but rarely, if ever, do they use them. You would have to be squashing them to provoke them to sting – and even then, the sting is so insignificant that it cannot pierce human skin. There are just one or two exceptions. Although the effect is not as severe as a honeybee sting, our tiniest species of ground nesting solitary bee, Lasioglossum and Halictus, both have fully functioning stings capable of penetrating human skin.  None of the male solitary bees have stingers.

-Leafcutter Bee- A solitary bee: 

These bees are very similar to Mason bees in their nesting characteristics, except that they use leaves to close up their nest cavities.

They are black with white hairs covering the thorax and the bottom of the abdomen, and many species have large heads with massive jaws to aid in cutting off pieces of leaves to seal their nests. Also like mason bees, they carry pollen on their abdomens and are very fast flyers.

  • Are they pollinators? Yes. Leafcutter bees are important pollinators of many wildflowers, as well as some fruits and vegetables. They’re used by commercial growers to pollinate crops including alfalfa, blueberries, carrots, and onions.3
  • Do they sting? They can sting, but these solitary bees do not aggressively defend their nests. They only sting when handled, according to the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, which describes a leafcutter bee sting as “far less painful” than that of a honeybee.
  • How to get rid of leafcutter bees: Like most bees, leafcutter bees are beneficial and usually don’t need to be removed. Stinging isn’t much of a risk, but while their habit of cutting holes in foliage may not harm the plants, it can reduce the aesthetic value of some ornamentals. To stop this, cut away your plants’ dead or damaged stems, which can attract leafcutter bees, or try wrapping the plants in cheesecloth to protect them. You could also set up a bee hotel somewhere away from the plants to draw the bees away.

– Mason Bee – Another solitary bee:   Close up of a mason bee on a leaf

A Mason Bee is a term that is used to refer to any bee species in the genus Osmia, of the family Megachilidae. Mason bees (also known as masonry bees) are native bees, meaning that they occur naturally in a region, and they are aptly named for the materials they gather to make their nests.

Unlike the honeybee, Mason Bees are tunnel-nesting solitary pollinators, and they typically use mud or clay to seal the openings of their homes. According to the U.S. Forest Service, there are 140 species of Osmia in North America.

While there are many different species of the Mason Bee, these pollinators are smaller than a Honeybee and tend to have distinct physical characteristics. The female is a black bee with an orange abdomen and feet, black fur on her face and thorax, and long red-brown hairs on the abdomen. The males are similar but have white fur on the face and a black abdomen with long orange hairs.

According to the Ecological Landscape Alliance, every female Mason Bee is a “queen” who lays eggs and raises offspring on her own, without the support of a highly-organized, social colony. The role of the male Mason Bee is much simpler than that of the female: they mate with the females and then die.

Mason Bees lay their eggs and nest inside existing tunnels, which can be created naturally by beetles and plants, or with the help of humans. The outside of a Mason Bee nest has various circles that are actually tunnels, and these tunnels are typically six inches deep. According to The Ecological Landscape Alliance, Mason Bees prefer holes that are 5/16” in diameter.   mason bee nest a mason bee crawling into its mason bee house Mason Bee Hive with a mason bee looking out.


D.) Carpenter Bees:  A carpenter been sitting on small branch that has had a hole drilled for nesting.

Carpenter bees, also sometimes known as wood bees, don’t have a great reputation. That’s because they are the ones (the female workers, again) that bore into your wood and make a hole as neat and clean as if it was bored out with a power drill. The presence of sawdust on sills or stoops is an indication you should look for a hole, which is the female’s reproductive nest.

She lays her eggs, females first and males last. The bees emerge from the hole in the spring, leaving in single file. The males go out first so they can be ready to mate with the females when they leave the nest.

Many people find carpenter bees destructive. The only thing that seems to deter them is painted or sealed wood. Traps are available, but these tend to kill the bees.

Carpenter bees also have the reputation of being the robber barons of the bee world. They chew into small flowers into which they can’t fit, such as those on blueberries, to get to the nectar before blueberry bees visit the flower. When this happens, they aren’t pollinating the flower; they are simply “stealing” the nectar without providing a natural benefit.

On the flowers of other plants, however, carpenter bees are excellent pollinators.2 Carpenter bees, like honeybees and bumblebees, have pollen baskets on their legs. They also have a black body with dense yellow and black hairs on their head and thorax and a bald abdomen.

If you’ve ever had a large bee swoop down and hover in front of your face, it was probably a carpenter bee. Your first thought when this happens may be that you’re under attack, but you’re not. It’s just being territorial.

  • Are they pollinators? Yes. “Some people consider carpenter bees pests because they drill holes or nest in wooden structures. However, their contribution to pollination far outweighs any damage to structures,” according to the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
  • Do they sting? Females can sting in defense, but rarely do. Males appear a little more aggressive and territorial, but cannot sting.
  • How to get rid of carpenter bees: As with most bees, it’s best to leave them alone rather than try to evict them. They may occasionally buzz your face, but they’re unlikely to sting. Paint or seal wood to prevent them from nesting in it. If they’ve already nested and you want to kick them out, try playing loud music near their nest or spraying it with a citrus repellent (boil sliced citrus fruit in water for 10 to 15 minutes, then let the water cool down before spraying it on the nest).

E.) Blueberry Bees:

Southeastern Blueberry Bee on Blueberry Flower, photo by Blair Sampson.


These bees are about the size of a honeybee but have hair patterns and banding that give them the appearance of a small version of a bumblebee or a carpenter bee.

They get their name because they’ve evolved with native blueberries, and their bodies have become a perfect fit for bell-shaped blueberry flowers.

While they’re excellent pollinators for blueberries, they also pollinate other plants. Blueberry bees nest in the ground, especially near blueberry plants once they find them.

  • Are they pollinators? Yes. Aside from their namesake berry, Southeastern blueberry bees also pollinate other plants that flower in early spring—including Carolina jessamine, oaks, and redbuds—although they may be less efficient pollinators than some other native bees.
  • Do they sting? Like many solitary bees, they tend to sting only when someone accidentally crushes them.
  • How to get rid of blueberry bees: There are few if any risks posed by these beneficial bees, and thus few reasons to bother trying to get rid of them. If you must, try tactics similar to those for discouraging mason bees and other ground-nesting bees, such as reducing the dry, exposed soils where they like to nest.

F.)  Squash Bees: 

These bees resemble the blueberry bee in that they have evolved to become specialists in the pollinating of the family Cucurbita, which includes squash, zucchini, pumpkins, and many gourds.

They are one of the few bees that fly pre-dawn. Their primary flight times last until mid-morning, and they will fly again near dusk when squash and melon flowers open.

If you see a bee nesting in a squash flower, it’s almost certainly a male squash bee, as they nest and mate in squash flowers. Females nest in the ground near food sources.

Bumblebees also will pollinate squash flowers but tend to linger in the flower while female squash bees do their business and leave. Because the bodies of bumblebees are not designed to pollinate squash, they will have trouble pollinating the flowers, sometimes having to use their legs to balance themselves in the blossom.

The head and thorax of squash bees range in color from black or tan to orange. The thorax is hairy and black with banded abdomen stripes that are black, white, or tan.

  • Are they pollinators? Yes. Squash bees gather pollen exclusively from plants in the genus Cucurbita, according to North Carolina State Extension, which notes that, along with bumblebees, squash bees “can do more than 10 times the amount of pollination necessary for a field.” They are also regular visitors to home vegetable gardens.
  • Do they sting? As with many ground-nesting species, squash bees are not aggressive and very rarely sting humans.
  • How to get rid of squash bees: There are few if any risks posed by these beneficial bees, and thus few reasons to bother trying to get rid of them. If you must, try tactics similar to those for discouraging mason bees and other ground-nesting bees, such as reducing the dry, exposed soils where they like to nest.

G.) Sweat Bees: Adult Halictus poeyi Lepeletier, a sweat bee, gathering pollen on lanceleaf coreopsis, Coreopsis lanceolata.


This is a large group of small bees, with some only a quarter of the size of a honeybee. They have come to be known by the common name of “sweat bee” because they are attracted to human perspiration.

They are also excellent pollinators and are active into October and even November. Because of their size, they are attracted to small flowers like fall-blooming asters of the Southeast.

Sweat bees range in color from black to metallic blues and greens, with copper and blue overtones. Some have stripes on their abdomens. They can be difficult to see due to their small size and high speed.

  • Are they pollinators? Yes. Unlike specialist squash bees, sweat bees are generalist pollinators, visiting a wide range of flowering plants.
  • Do they sting? Female sweat bees can sting, but they are not aggressive. The best way to avoid being stung is to leave them alone.
  • How to get rid of them: Sweat bees are yet another group of beneficial bees that usually don’t need to be evicted. If you’re worried about being stung, however, use methods similar to other ground bees: Keep the ground moist and grow some kind of vegetation over bare spots to limit potential nesting sites.






“Wasps, hornets and bees present an all-together different challenge for homeowners. While many of these insects offer similar benefits, they also pose a threat to people – they aggressively defend themselves by stinging other creatures they view as a threats.”. (


Part I Be alert to the spring and summer insect stinger visitors including know why they sting=Wasps!



yellowjacket and hornetyellow jackets WASPS

Spring with summer around the corner have certain insects coming out of hibernation which are little insects with STINGERS and know how to deal with them.

Yes it’s that time of the year again better weather and getting warmer with certain individual insects waking up and popping into our site again that go BUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Enjoy the weather but know these insect stingers and what to do.

At least 40 deaths occur each year in the U.S. as a result of serious anaphylactic sting reactions.

In general there are over 20,000 known bee species in the world, and 4,000 of them are native to the United States. They range from the tiny (2 mm) and solitary Perdita minima, known as the world’s smallest bee, to kumquat-sized species of carpenter bees. Our bees come in as many sizes, shapes, and colors as the flowers they pollinate. There is still much that we don’t know about native bees—many are smaller than a grain of rice and about 10% of bees in the United States have yet to be named or described—but all of these bees have jobs as pollinators.

A bee sting is strictly a sting from a bee (honey bee, bumblebee, sweat bee, etc.).

In the vernacular it can mean a sting of a bee,  or even a wasp, or a hornet, or or a yellow jacket. Some people may even call the bite of a horse-fly a bee sting. The stings of most of these species can be quite painful, and are therefore keenly avoided by many people.

Honey bee stings release pheromones that prompt other nearby bees to attack.

Bee stings differ from insect bites, and the venom or toxin of stinging insects is quite different. Therefore, the body’s reaction to a bee sting may differ significantly from one species to another.

In people with insect sting allergy, a bee sting may trigger a local reaction meaning its at the site where you were stung which is redness, swelling, pain, and oozing possibly but a systemic reaction which can be dangerous meaning a anaphylactic reaction that is potentially deadly.

In general there are over 25,000 species of wasps found throughout the world. Some of the most common wasps include:

The yellow jacket and hornet, both of which live in groups, or colonies, in temperate climates.

Yellow jackets, which have black and yellow stripes on the abdomen, form underground nests.

Hornets are predominantly black with some yellow markings on the head and thorax. Hornets form paper-like nests that are attached to trees, bushes, or buildings.

Certain animals have developed stinging as a form of defense or hunting. Venomous stings can have a local reaction, meaning pain, swelling, redness, itching, and possible oozing around the sting site, or a systemic reaction, meaning with local symptoms plus hives or airway and circulatory problems across the whole body. Local symptoms meaning the reaction to the sting is in one local area and systemic meaning the reaction is generalized throughout the body.

Types of Wasps:


Hornets are a type of wasp closely related to and resembling yellow jackets, according to National Geographic. While the majority of the approximately 20 species of hornets are found in tropical parts of Asia, these stinging insects can also be found throughout Europe, Africa and North America. Hornets are social insects that live in community hives dominated by queens.They are considered pests and potentially dangerous by many because they aggressively defend their hives by using their stingers. Reacting quickly after disturbing a hornets’ nest will help you prevent excessive stings and potential allergic reactions.

Hornets are a large species of wasp, growing up to 2 1/2-inches in length. Hornets become aggressive when they feel threatened or must defend their nest. Unlike a bee, hornets can sting multiple times, as their stingers are not barbed. A hornet sting delivers venom beneath the skin that causes a painful reaction for up to three days following. You can treat a hornet sting to relieve some of the pain and swelling, making the healing process tolerable. Hornets are very, very painful. As soon as you are stung by a Hornet a red welt will develop and the throbbing pain will begin. Before trying to treat a Hornet sting be sure you are safely away from the Hornet and nest. A Hornet will sting many times and if you kill a Hornet their Hornet friends back at the nest will come after you too. When a Hornet is killed it releases a scent and other Hornets will come to investigate. If you are allergic to Hornet stings seek emergency medical attention 911 for anaphylactic reactions.

 B.) Yellow Jackets  

Overall, stinging wasps have warning colors, either yellow, brown, to even blue or red. Wasps have pointed abdomens attached to the thorax by a thin waist called a petiole. They build papery nests from wood fibers, very common in the northeast. The colonies that live in these nests are led by one egg-laying queen. The female nest-building workers are the only ones with stingers, which are modified egg laying apparatuses. If threatened, they will gather into a stinging swarm to protect the nest.

C.) Solitary Wasps

There are two main types of wasps, the solitary ones and the social ones, which nest together. Here’s a quick look at each of these.

D.) Social Wasps

For wasps, being social does not mean that they live in large colonies–far from it. A typical wasp nest can contain only a dozen individuals. The larger wasp nests can contain as many as 10,000 individuals, way below the 50,000 workers in a bee colony.

The social wasps belong to the Vespidae family, which includes the hornets and the yellow jackets, one of the most aggressive types of wasps.

E.) Solitary Wasps


In mid to late summer in the northeastern US, several species of large solitary wasp (belonging to the families Sphecidae and Crabronidae) frequent gardens, parks, and other open spaces. Despite their threatening appearance, solitary wasps are totally harmless. They are more interested in hunting other invertebrates–like spiders, flies, and bees–than they are in you. Solitary wasps are carnivores that capture and paralyze insects or spiders to feed their young, with many species specializing on particular types of prey. Unlike hornets, yellowjackets, and other social wasps, solitary wasp females build and provision nests independently of one another. Nesting locations differ among species and may include a variety of cavities both above and below ground.

The vast majority of wasps belong to the solitary type and they are mostly predators. Here are the main groups of solitary wasps:

Types of solitary wasps:
  • 1 Cuckoo wasps, which belong in the Chrysididae family
  • 2 Tiphiid wasps of the Tiphiidae family
  • 3 Scoliid wasps of the Scoliidae family
  • 4 Velvet wasps of the family Mutillidae
  • 5 Cicada-killer

Solitary wasps are generally parasitic and do not build colonies, unlike their more social relatives.

#1 Cockoo  Cockoo Wasp Digital photo of a female  #1

#2 Tiphiid Wasps 

#3 Adult Scoliid Wasp of the Subfamily Campsomerinae

#4 Velvet Wasps Female Male

#5 Cicada Killer Wasp 

REMEMBER wasps have the ability to sting repeatedly.

Treat a wasp, hornet, or yellow jacket with care. If you get stung, leave the area and wash with soap and water as soon as you can. Applying a cold compress can help reduce swelling. Although if your symptoms worsen more than mild pain and swelling seek medical attention ASAP!

Tune into Part 2 tomorrow for learning about the BEES.




“Key Facts on Endometriosis:

  • Endometriosis is a disease where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus, causing pain and/or infertility (1).
  • Endometriosis affects roughly 10% (190 million) of reproductive age women and girls globally (2).
  • It is a chronic disease associated with severe, life-impacting pain during periods, sexual intercourse, bowel movements and/or urination, chronic pelvic pain, abdominal bloating, nausea, fatigue, and sometimes depression, anxiety, and infertility.
  • The variable and broad symptoms of endometriosis mean that healthcare workers do not easily diagnose it and many individuals suffering from it have limited awareness of the condition. This can cause a lengthy delay between onset of symptoms and diagnosis (3).
  • At present, there is no known cure for endometriosis, & treatment is usually aimed at controlling symptoms.”.

World Health Organization – WHO (

Part II Endometriosis Month Awareness!

Endometriosis Risk Factors:

Research shows that there are some things that put a person at higher risk of developing endometriosis, including having:

  • A mother, sister or daughter who has endometriosis
  • An abnormal uterus, which is diagnosed by a doctor
  • Early menstruation (before age 11)
  • Shorter menstrual periods (less than 27 days on average)
  • Heavy menstrual periods lasting more than seven days

Some things that can lower the risk of endometriosis include:

  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Having your first period after age 14
  • Eating fruits, especially citrus fruits

Endometriosis prevention:

Endometriosis is an idiopathic condition, meaning there is no known cause. There are also no specific ways to prevent endometriosis. However, being aware of the symptoms and whether you could be at higher risk can help you know when to discuss it with a doctor.

Endometriosis Stages:

Doctors classify endometriosis from stage 1 to stage 4. The stages are based on where endometrial tissue occurs in the body, how far it has spread and how much tissue is in those areas.

Having a more advanced stage of endometriosis does not always mean you will have more severe symptoms or more pain. Some women with stage 4 endometriosis have few or no symptoms, while those with stage 1 can have severe symptoms.

Endometriosis Treatment:

There is no lasting treatment for endometriosis, but doctors can offer treatments that help you manage it. Finding the right treatment depends on many different factors, including your age and symptoms. Doctors will also discuss whether you want to have children, which can help determine the best treatment options.

Nonsurgical endometriosis treatments

The most common treatments for endometriosis that do not require surgery are hormone therapy and pain management.

Endometriosis tissues are affected by hormones in the same way as endometrial tissues inside the uterus. Hormone changes that occur with a menstrual cycle can make endometriosis pain worse.

Treatments that include hormone therapy can alter hormone levels or stop your body from producing certain hormones. Hormone therapy can affect your ability to get pregnant, so it may not be right for everyone.

Hormone therapy can be taken as pills, shots or a nasal spray. The most common options include:

  • Oral contraceptives with estrogen and progesterone to control hormones
  • Progestins to stop menstrual periods and endometrial tissue growth
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist to limit ovarian hormones
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist to stop ovarian hormones

Pain medications, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, can be effective for managing endometriosis pain. A doctor can also discuss whether you need prescription medications for more severe pain.

Laparoscopy for endometriosis

Patients who have more advanced endometriosis, pain that does not resolve with other treatments or are trying to conceive may need surgery. Laparoscopy is the most common surgery doctors use to treat endometriosis.

During this procedure, a surgeon makes a few small incisions in your abdomen. In one incision they insert a thin tube with a light and a camera. In the other incisions they insert small tools. These tools can remove endometrial tissue (excision) or use intense heat to destroy the tissues (ablation).

The surgeon can also remove any scar tissue that has built up in the area. Laparoscopic surgeries usually have a shorter recovery time and smaller scars compared with traditional open surgery (laparotomy).

Laparotomy for endometriosis

In some cases, a doctor may need to do a laparotomy for endometriosis instead of laparoscopy. That means the doctor will make a larger incision (cut) in the abdomen to remove the endometrial tissue. This is uncommon.

Removing endometrial tissues with laparoscopy or laparotomy can provide short-term pain relief. However, the pain may come back.

Hysterectomy for endometriosis

A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the uterus. Doctors may recommend this as an option to treat endometriosis. Your doctor may also recommend removing the ovaries (oophorectomy) with or without a hysterectomy. This will stop the release of hormones and should definitively treat endometriosis, but it will put you into menopause.

Removing the ovaries will significantly lower estrogen levels and slow or stop endometrial tissue growth. But it does come with the risks and side effects of menopause, including hot flashes, bone loss, heart disease, decreased sexual desire, memory problems, and depression or anxiety. For those reasons, the decision to proceed with oophorectomy is one made between the patient and their physician based on case-specific factors and the patient’s personal goals.

After a hysterectomy, you will no longer have a uterus, and you will not be able to become pregnant or carry a pregnancy. If you are interested in having a child, talk with your doctor about other treatment options.

Women who have an oophorectomy (ovary removal) but still have their uterus may be able to get pregnant with IVF. Doctors can harvest eggs from your ovaries before the surgery and preserve those eggs for fertilization and implantation in your uterus later, or an egg donor can be used.

A Total Abdominal Hysterectomy Bilingual Salpingo Oophorectomy is a total hysterectomy and both fallopian tubes with ovaries removed.   This is sometimes needed.


“A woman’s uterus is lined with endometrial tissue. This lining is called the endometrium. Your body grows a new endometrium with each menstrual cycle to prepare for a fertilized egg. Endometriosis is a condition in which endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus.  Endometriosis affects up to 10% of women between the ages of 15 and 44. It most often occurs on or around reproductive organs in the pelvis or abdomen and grows outside the uterus. The buildup of abnormal tissue outside the uterus can lead to inflammation, scarring and painful cysts. It can also lead to buildup of fibrous tissues between reproductive organs that causes them to “stick” together.”

John Hopkins Medicine (

Part I March Month Awareness of Endometriosis.

What is Endometriosis?

The uterus is a female reproductive organ located between the bladder and the rectum, in the pelvic area. The uterus has three layers: the inner lining (endometrium); the middle muscular layer (myometrium); and the outer layer (perimetrium). The uterus is connected to the fallopian tubes, the cervix and (via the cervix) the vagina.

Endometriosis is a painful, chronic disease that affects at least 6.3 million women and girls in the U.S., 1 million in Canada, and millions more worldwide. It occurs when tissue like that which lines the uterus (tissue called the endometrium) is found outside the uterus.  The symptoms occur during menses and the endometrial tissue outside the uterus will be painful like the uterus cramps due to the period.

What Causes Endometriosis?

The cause of endometriosis is unknown. The retrograde menstruation theory (transtubal migration theory) suggests that during menstruation some of the menstrual tissue backs up through the fallopian tubes, implants in the abdomen, and grows.  Some experts believe that all women experience some menstrual tissue backup and that an immune system problem or a hormonal problem allows this tissue to grow in the women who develop endometriosis.

Another theory suggests that endometrial tissue is distributed from the uterus to other parts of the body through the lymph system or through the blood system. A genetic theory suggests that it may be carried in the genes in certain families or that some families may have predisposing factors to endometriosis.

Surgical transplantation has also been cited in many cases where endometriosis is found in abdominal scars, although it has also been found in such scars when accidental implantation seems unlikely.

Another theory suggests that remnants of tissue from when the woman was an embryo may later develop into endometriosis, or that some adult tissues retain the ability they had in the embryo stage to transform reproductive tissue in certain circumstances.

Research by the Endometriosis Association revealed a startling link between dioxin (TCCD) exposure and the development of endometriosis. Dioxin is a toxic chemical byproduct of pesticide manufacturing, bleached pulp and paper products, and medical and municipal waste incineration. The EA discovered a colony of rhesus monkeys that had developed endometriosis after exposure to dioxin. 79% of the monkeys exposed to dioxin developed endometriosis, and, in addition, the more dioxin exposure, the more severe the endometriosis.

Endometriosis tissus found outside of the uterus:

  • Outside and back of your uterus.
  • Fallopian tubes.
  • Ovaries.
  • Vagina.
  • Peritoneum (the lining of your abdomen and pelvis).
  • Bladder and ureters.
  • Intestines.
  • Rectum.
  • Diaphragm (a muscle near the bottom of your chest that plays an important role in breathing).
  • Less commonly they are found in the lung, arm, thigh, and other locations.

This misplaced tissue develops into growths or lesions which respond to the menstrual cycle in the same way that the tissue of the uterine lining does: each month the tissue builds up, breaks down, and sheds. Menstrual blood flows from the uterus and out of the body through the vagina, but the blood and tissue shed from endometrial growths has no way of leaving the body. This results in internal bleeding, breakdown of the blood and tissue from the lesions, and inflammation — and can cause pain, infertility, scar tissue formation, adhesions, and bowel problems.

Pain before and during period: Pain with sex, Infertility, Fatigue, Painful urination during periods, Painful bowel movements during periods and Other Gastrointestinal upsets such as diarrhea, constipation, nausea.

In addition, many women with endometriosis suffer from:

  • Allergies
  • Chemical sensitivities
  • Frequent yeast infections


Diagnosis is considered uncertain until proven by laparoscopy, a minor surgical procedure done under anesthesia. A laparoscopy usually shows the location, size, and extent of the growths. This helps the doctor and patient make better treatment choices.