Potter Wasps

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Heath Potter Wasps
Heath Potter Wasps 16 October 2014

Over the past five summers I have been conducting an intensive study of the Heath Potter Wasps Eumenes coarctatus on Bovey Heath and am a self confessed potter wasp addict!. Last winter many of the overwintering pots were destroyed in the storms and at times I wondered if any would survive.


Heath Potter Wasps
Heath Potter Wasps 29 July 2012

At times during May and June I wondered if any of the potter wasps would survive on the heath so it was good to find one building at the end of June. With some better days and the recent heat wave there has been more activity at the wasps quarries with at least ten wasps using one quarry site.


Heath Potter Wasps
Heath Potter Wasps 05 June 2012

The new season for heath potter wasps has begun. Last year in the very warm spring they were on the wing by early May but this year the emergence has been delayed by the cool conditions. The first few hatched in mid-May with the main emergence taking place in late May and early June.


Heath Potter Wasps
Heath Potter Wasps 01 August 2011

Whilst I have been on holiday it has been changeover time for the Heath Potter Wasps on Bovey Heath.

Listen to the Radio 4 Living World programme on Potter Wasps broadcast in November 2010.


Heath Potter Wasp and Green Tiger Beetle
Heath Potter Wasp and Green Tiger Beetle 11 July 2011

The first thing I saw on the heath today was a potter wasp collecting mud from the Pine Quarry, the first time I have seen one collecting there this year. As the wasp came in to collect soil a Green Tiger Beetle stalked it.


Heath Potter Wasps
Heath Potter Wasps 01 June 2011

After the great success watching the potter wasps last year at Bovey Heath I have been back out this year seeing what else I can discover about these fascinating insects.


Heath Potter Wasps
Heath Potter Wasps 17 September 2010

I almost found this wasp building the third of a triple set of pots on 12 September, then saw her taking caterpillars to the pot.


Heath Potter Wasp
Heath Potter Wasp 01 September 2010

My second Potter wasp at work. The 30th August was a beautiful sunny day when for the first time in weeks no cloud bubbled up during the day. Surely I would see something today.


Heath Potter Wasp
Heath Potter Wasp 06 August 2010

I first saw the beautiful clay pot of the heath potter wasp in 2007 whilst working for the BBC. We travelled to Dorset and tried very hard to film a wasp at work but failed and ever since then I have always wanted to see how the wasp makes its pot.