I have a clump of white species heirloom spurias in full bloom now, but I'm afraid to get close to them- they're buzzing and crawling with red wasps! There are at least a dozen buzzing around at any given time of day. It's really irritating, because I'm so used to touching and inspecting most every bloom!
I would suspect there's some sort of yummy wasp food on the spurias, maybe some succulent caterpillars, or some gourmet wormy thingees. I don't think there would be any reason in particular they would be attracted to spuria.
Come to think of it, I don't recall seeing wasps on them like this in past years. There are a lot of tiny ants crawling all over them too, like you see on Peonies, so I figured something sweet is being produced. I haven't noticed any caterpillars, and the plants don't appear to have been nibbled by any bugs. Last night I strolled through the garden just before it got dark, and the wasps were gone, so I did get my chance to touch the blooms and get a close look at them. Funny how the fascination with the unusual flower structure of an Iris never leaves me, same as when I was a kid.
It could be the wasps are attracted to the ants on the spruia. I thought they went for bigger food, though. Or maybe the spuria does produce something sweet. I searched the internet to see what I could find about that, and nothing. But glad they're gone. I don't think the red wasps are normally too aggressive, are they? But I wouldn't want to mess with a bunch of them.
And I surely know what you mean about getting a close look at the blooms. They're fascinating, so many forms of the different irises.
Name: Dee Stewart Willamette Valley OR Snowpeak Iris
A couple of years back I hit an underground nest of Wasp and got hit with about 30 stings and they followed me as I ran out of the area. Never really thought about wasp being that aggressive. Found one thing that will kill the entire nest and all and that was pouring Daconil down the hole so we keep that on hand just in case.
Up here the red ones aren't nearly as bad as the black ones. The black ones are very aggressive. Usually none of them bother me. I've killed two hornets in the house this year, though. Those are nasty. I can always plan on getting stung twice a summer.