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Photo#132067
Green Eyed Wasps - Tachytes - male - female

Green Eyed Wasps - Tachytes - Male Female
Medical Lake, Spokane County, Washington, USA
July 29, 2007
Size: 1/2 Inch
While photographing the numerous types of pollinating insects in my garden this pair of bees or hornets landed on the spearmint blossoms that had attracted so many other bees and wasps. It was mid-morning and about 75 degrees. They only landed for just a few seconds and then took off again because they were being bumped by the other bee that appears in midair next to the male and female. I am lucky to have gotten off a few pictures before they left again. Can anyone identify these insects?

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Green Eyed Wasps - Tachytes - male - female Green Eyed Hornet - Tachytes - male - female

Nice pics of these Sphecidae
Nice pics of these Sphecidae wasps. The genus is Tachys or something related - they are not hornets (which are social) nor bees (but close relatives of them).

 
Genus Tachys
Thank you very much for the answer. I have been counting the different types of bees, hornets, and wasps in my back yard and so far have counted as many as 10. I keep hearing about how polinators are in decline. So I try to avoid any pesticides, herbicides, etc around my home and plant things that I know the pollinators like as well as providing habitat for nesting. Any suggestions for Eastern Washington?

 
Beehouses
How about building bee houses? I have seen many different models and my son in law built some for me. I expect to learn more about these bees this year.
The Europeans seem to be way ahead of us. See Nico's bees in Flickr.
Even a fallen log can be home to some kinds of bees.

 
Sand dune:-)
The wasps are in the genus Tachytes, which Martin simply misspelled (silly dipterists!:-). They are known as "sand-loving wasps," and would benefit by the addition of a sand dune in your yard. LOL! Seriously, just landscaping with native plants, and leaving a few bare spots of soil here and there will attract a wide variety of wasps and bees. Eastern Washington is wa-a-a-a-y more diverse in insect fauna than west of the Cascades, so you should see many different genera and species.

 
Tachytes Wasps
Do you know if the smaller wasp flying next to the pair of Tachytes wasps is the same kind? It looks similar, but with black eyes instead. It was also persistant at "bugging" the other two. Sorry, I couldn't resist a pun.

 
Great! It is important to sup
Great! It is important to support the pollinators... and it can be rewarding because you learn a lot about their fascinating biology and behavior...
For nisting some of them like dead wood (trees, firewood) which is exposed to sun, you can take a block of wood a drill holes of different sizes in it and many wasps will come and nist. Some like dried plants and some like nisting in the open soil...
There are nest boxes for bumbelbees, which is a lot of fun nd not dangerouse: http://www.bumblebee.org/nestboxes.htm
http://www.beesfordevelopment.org/info/info/pollination/lowcost-homes-for-wild-po.shtml
and here is a good start website:
http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/nativebee.html
I do not know your garden, but there should be over 100 species of bees and wasps minimum, using your garden for pollen and/or nisting sites... just keep your eyes open...
Cheers
Martin

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