Pollen Wasps will often rest in Penstemon flowers. These rested all night next to my tent. We all felt the sunrise together. Often mistaken for yellow jackets, but actually a non-stinging gatherer of pollen and nectar. You will not see a yellow jacket collecting pollen or sleeping in a Penstemon flower.
Vince Tepidno, from our US Forest Service writes:
“Behold, a “pollen wasp” (Masarinae), superficially yellow jacket-like, but with an identity problem. Almost all wasps are flesh-eaters, but masarines are more like Ferdinand the Bull, who was more interested in smelling flowers than in goring matadors. Pollen wasps forsake stinging, eating, and feeding other insects to their offspring, for plying flowers. However, they differ from Ferdinand in harvesting pollen and nectar rather than simply inhaling sweet odors.”
Read More here: Pollen Wasps
Published by Harvard Press, buy from vendor of choice!
The Pollen Wasps, Ecology and Natural History of the Masarinae
Sarah K. Gess
Native Plant Master