I am watering by hand an orchard of some 50+ trees, vines and canes. To conserve water I am pulling back mulch, watering between 20-80L depending on the plant and its micro conditions, and replacing the mulch. I MUST get a drip system before next summer, the whole process takes about 5 hours once a week, and with temps in the 40s every day this week, might have to be twice a week until we get rain.
Well anyway, yesterday I found in the sugar cane mulch what I first thought was a bee, but on closer inspection found to be a wasp. It was about an inch or a little longer, with really long slender wings. It seemed a bit the worse for wear, curling into a ball as I disturbed the mulch. It wasn't under a fruit tree with fruit on it, and it was solitary. I didn't find another. A quick google has thrown up a couple of possibilities: European wasp, or some other predatory wasp with a latin name that I can't recall. European wasps look more squat and with shorter wings than this critter. It's head was black, body banded like a bee, and fuzzy like a bumble bee, but not as fat. I am hoping good predator. What does the forum think?