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What's this wasp (?) doing? - WARNING blurry close ups of ugly critter

Hi, you can imagine my surprise when this popped it's head out from the bug hotel as I was inspecting it - we had a staring competition! I could see a larva in there but not sure if the wasp (?) was eating it, laying it or emerging from one. It eventually flew away ... and I went for another cup of tea. 15 minutes later the maggoty/larva in the 4th image is sunning itself in the same hole. Any of you clever people able to help? :-)

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  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 8,849
    I guess beauty is subjective but I like them ;)  What you have is probably one of these https://www.bwars.com/wasp/vespidae/eumeninae/ancistrocerus-parietum
    A mason wasp or similar, hard to be too accurate from those photos as key markings aren't visible. They collect caterpillars and stock them in the nest holes for their own grubs to eat as they develop. Not a bee but just as important in the garden ecosystem and useful pest control.
    Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people
  • You're right they are actually quite beautiful. I watched "him" coming and going all afternoon, eventually he sealed the tube. Fascinating. Many thanks for the information.
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