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What are the flying insects hovering over the sand in the park?

Sand Wasps - not dangerous to be around and not a threat to people.


The large and small bee-like insects hovering and flying around the playground and along the trail are sand wasps. they are nesting in the sand around the margins of the playground. Unlike nesting honeybees, yellow jackets and hornets, they are not dangerous to be around and are not a threat to people. They do not aggressively defend their nests. In fact, one can walk through a nesting area without being threatened. Female sand wasps have dug individual burrows with cells in which they are laying eggs and provision with flies of other insects to feed their young larvae. They are considered to be beneficial because they capture flies, especially horse and deer flies as well as muscoid flies, a group which also include house flies. They have chosen the playground because of its sandy soil. However, because they like sandy habitats, many of them live together. Adult sand wasps are such agile and rapid fliers, it would be difficult to touch one. Control of these wasps is not necessary as female wasps are not aggressive. Males, which cannot sting, sometimes hover around people to declare their territory.

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Town of Longboat Key    -    501 Bay Isles Road Longboat Key, FL 34228    -    Phone: (941) 316-1999 Fax: (941) 316-1656
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