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Yesterday I saw some bees buzzing about some flowers in the yard when I noticed some of them were actually wasps, though they were clearly harvesting pollen from the flowers. I took note of their characteristics, but was not confident this would help identify them based on previously being unable to come up with positive IDs on birds this way. It turned out to be easy, however, not to mention logical, as they are Sphecius speciosus, or the eastern cicada killer. Easy, because they are pretty distinctive, and logical, since we are in a big year for cicadas (though we haven't actually seen any yet). The good news is that these are not nearly as belligerent as most other varieties of wasps, so there's no reason to think they are going to cause anyone any problems. Except the cicadas, of course.
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