Ham-Eating Wasp

This fucken wasp was absolutely incessant about getting into the motherfucken iberico. And once it was in there, it was fucken chowing down. Anybody got a clue as to what kind of wasp would be interested in eating iberico ham?

UPDATE: Check this fucken shitte out. This is pretty clearly the exact same kind of wasp that was chowing down on our ham.


  1. Colene says

    HAHAHAHAHA!. CPP must have been real hungry and that little yellowjacket ruined his iberico dinner!. Take it easy CPP. As we say in Toronto: Viendra le jour !.

  2. Gazza says

    Talk about deceit. I expected to see a giant wasp eating Ken Ham. Now that would make a great display at his creation museum.

  3. leftwingfox says

    I’m having flashbacks to a story in an early “Owl” or “Chickadee” nature magazine for kids that I read way back in grade school. It featured a child talking to a wasp, who was quite indignant about being confused with a bee. One of the details I can remember was the wasp stating a preference for the ham from her sandwich; I wonder if it was just a point about wasps being predatory insects, or if that was from prior observation.

  4. meursalt says

    OK, I’m delurking because this is a topic of some mild interest to me.

    As mentioned above, this is definitely some species of yellowjacket, although the various species look so similar that I wouldn’t hazard a guess as to which one. The color looks much duller than our local yellowjackets in the Southeast. Yellowjackets are pretty ubiquitous down here, and they are the mascot for many local athletic teams in the South.

    They are pretty much omnivorous. In nature, I’ve seen them eat both nectar and carrion. When in proximity with humans, they can’t resist sugary sweets, although they will happily eat meat or fruit.

    Depending on the species and environment, they may build paper nests, live in dead trees, or burrow like ants.

    Incidentally, what we refer to as a “hornet” here in North America is not a true hornet, but an enormous species of yellowjacket with minimal yellow on a predominantly black body.

    Do exercise caution. Among North American hymenopterans, yellowjackets represent a perfect storm of potent venom, aggressiveness/fearlessness, and group defensive behaviour. They are quick to sting when they feel threatened, and will sting repeatedly while calling in their buddies to do the same. They will almost always react to a threat with aggression, rather than attempting to escape. Anecdotally, in my experience they live in larger family groups and build larger nests than most social wasps, making for a dangerously large defensive swarm when a nest is disturbed.

    I’m not particularly allergic to wasp venom, but even with my relatively mild reaction, a single sting will raise a saucer-sized welt. The sting site is quite painful, and the surrounding tissue will itch with ferocious intensity.

    They are best admired from a distance. Treat them with respect. And if you feel you must kill one, I’d recommend checking for a nearby nest first, since I’m pretty sure an injured yellowjacket releases pheromones just like a bee would. Don’t try to deal with a nest without wasp spray, and leave large nests to a professional.

  5. kristie says

    Both fish and wasp are beautiful creatures. So, if Ponyo fish turns into Ponyo wasp (lower level in the animal kingdom) because she loves ibérico…I don’t blame her. There is a point in which level of organization becomes irrelevant if and when a living being gets what h/she loves.

    Cheers Ponyo and enjoy!.

  6. Midnight Rambler says

    tenine: V. pensylvanica, despite the name, is only found in the west. Unless CPP has transplanted his demon-inspired Yankee-slobbering to places that don’t deserve to have it inflicted on them, it’s V. germanica; it’s the only one in the eastern US with a narrow triangle on the first segment of the gaster and broad yellow stripes.

  7. justsomescotsbloke says

    I don’t know what it is but my advice is to just let it have the bloody ham (and anything else it wants).

  8. says

    Well, it may be a “yellow jacket” or a bald faced hornet, but either way, they are mean, omnivorous, painful motherfuckers. If you see them around, don’t drink out of any bottles or cans that you can’t see into.

  9. meursalt says

    Good call, PalMD.

    I did a bit of further research. According to wikipedia, when these things take meat, they are carrying it back to the brood. The adults eat nectar and fruit. So if it goes for a soft drink, it’s just hungry. When it takes your ham, it is providing for the next generation.

    I find wasps fascinating. They are much more diverse
    than people realise. Seems like every summer I notice a new species of solitary wasp that I’ve never
    noticed before. Nocturnal wasps are rarely seen and very cool.

  10. binjabreel says

    In my experience while camping, wasps go ape shit for any cured pork. Fry some bacon in the morning and they’ll be all over your campsite all damn day.

    What we’d usually do was take the grease, soak it into some paper towels, then weigh them down with some stones on a paper plate far, far away from the campsite.

  11. Midnight Rambler says

    The best thing for these little bastards – if you have a nest in your yard, go out at night when they’re asleep and CAREFULLY clamp a glass bowl over the entrance, sealing around the edges with dirt (make sure there isn’t more than one entrance). It’s wonderfully satisfying as they bang their heads against the glass. If you just plug up the hole they’ll dig another one, but apparently because they can see the outside they don’t. They just freak out until they all die. Awesome.

    Oh yeah, and it’s definitely not a bald-faced hornet (Dolichovespula maculata) – their markings are white, not yellow, and they’re mostly black. There is also another Dolichovespula, D. arenaria, with yellow markings, but it’s much larger than the one in the pics. There are also a few Vespula with white marks, but they’re pretty rare. Those are the cool ones, with small nests and exclusively feeding on live prey, as opposed to these fuckers with big nests that come and steal your lunch.

  12. docslacker says

    Living in Iberia, I can tell you, those thieving bastards will take anything that’s not covered: bacon, chicken…. chuleton.

  13. Luna_the_cat says




    They are EVIL little mofos. I don’t care how diverse wasps are or how pretty they may be from a distance. They are EVIL INCARNATE.

    ….Also, in Ohio I have heard them called “meat bees”, just a local name for them. Obviously not bees, but well known for mugging people for their ham sandwiches.

    Still EVIL.

  14. Art says

    Renovating old houses in Florida we ran across a lot of wasp nests that threaten workers. We seldom have wasp spray around but the truck has a gas tank and extracting a couple ounces isn’t difficult.

    Commercial wasp sprays are good, they have the advantage of coming in a can that sprays the stuff 3m or more to keep you at a safe distance. But if you don’t have any wasp spray around, or don’t want to spend the money, plain gasoline will work. If you can find the nest one or two ounces of unleaded tossed from any handy cup-like device drops them fast. Toss and back up.

    The gasoline seems to be quite toxic to wasps and bees. I’ve taken out more nests than I can count. Wait for the wasps to calm down, sneak in with the gas, a well placed toss, and a minute later all the wasps are curled up dying. Better living through chemistry but try not to burn the place down.

    Brake/parts cleaner, Liquid Wrench, turpentine, and paint thinner all work. If you have the fixins plain soapy water in a spray bottle handles small nests and individual wasps.

  15. akela51 says

    When I was a child, we often had dinner out on the back porch in summer. And occasionally, a wasp would come by to inspect what was on the table. Ham was always interesting to them and so we left some scraps just to watch cut off a nice piece, get a good grip on it and slowly carrying the loot home. Was fun!

  16. Kevin nyc says

    “Oh yeah, and it’s definitely not a bald-faced hornet (Dolichovespula maculata)”

    I had some what we called “white-faced hornets” in a nest under the deck. (yellowjackets I’ve seen live underground).

    They would come out and attack you when you went down the stairs.

    Use the spray and the hose on em and they were gone! (we ran away for a while until the last ones left.

  17. says

    I wonder if the peculiarly penetrating smell of pig makes their meat extra “findable” for wasps.

    That was a very large picture! I’ve done the same to photograph small things: just crank up the resolution. It was so large that in the first one, at full size the wasp wouldn’t fit on my screen and it took some time to load. Maybe a small image of the scene and a close-up of the object of interest, next time?

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