Social Wasps Building a nest
Social wasps are fascinating creatures.
How do I know?
Because I’ve photographed them several times.
Ironically I learnt the hard way how fiercely they guard their nests many years ago in Italy when I got too close.
Since then I’ve kept my distance.
The point is that through photography you can learn.
And through learning your photography will improve.
Wildlife photography is much easier and the results much better if you have a good knowledge of animal behaviour, life cycle and so on.
I used to think that wasps were solitary creatures – and some are – but all over Europe I’ve seen social wasps building their nests.
The process is simple, the wasps collect wood bark and paper products and then masticate all the material into a pulp which they use to build the nest.
When it dries it hardens.
Every year social wasps build a new nest.
Social Wasps Building Nest Photo Facts:
I had made a special trip into the countryside to look for seasonal photos.
Towards midday the sun was harsh and fierce and I decided to look for some refreshment.
To get out of the sun for a moment I stepped into a deserted bus shelter.
As my eyes became acclimatised to the change of light I also heard the buzzing of these social wasps.
I looked up and saw them building their nest high in the corner of the shelter.
I had come equipped for landscape photography but luckily has packed my Canon 100mm 2.8 macro lens.
I pushed the ISO on my Canon EOS 5D mark 11 up to 400 and tried some handheld shots.
The light levels were low and Depth of Field was limited.
The quality of light was good as inside the shelter the light was diffused and non-directional.
I was very careful to keep my distance and did not expect a very high success rate.
Most of my photos were poor, mainly because of camera shake but one or two were successful.
This shot was the best both as a photograph and for showing the behaviour of social wasps building their nest.