Hey Mike ,
Most likely , almost certainly , the larvae of a solitary bee . Although perhaps it could have been "mud daubing" or "mud dauber" or "dirt dauber" wasp larvae . In any case , the female leaves behind a small number of eggs , along with food , in some kind of nice dry tube-shaped home somewhere .
Solitary bees sometimes build little "pots" out of mud . Sometimes they burrow into the ground . But most commonly , they either bore a tubular hole in some dead wood , or look for a hole someone else has made . The bees leave behind a healthy package of flower pollen ( and probably something like honey as well ) to feed each larva when it hatches . I once had an upstairs apartment , in a very lovely building from the 1920's , with no screens on the windows . Outside the windows on one side of the apartment were tall old flowering shrubs . When the windows were open ( often ) the bees would occasionally take a short-cut through my apartment , making a "bee-line" , flying in the front windows and out the back , or vice versa . No problem . I didn't bother them . They didn't bother me . The flowers smelled fantastic . The bees made happy buzzing . All was right with the world .
Later I found that a solitary bee or two was "nesting" in my dining table ! The long screw-holes along the under-side , for access to the screws holding the top on , were just perfect for mama-bee . These bees make very distinctive buzzing , while they are in their "burrow" , packing in the pollen for their babies' future use . No problems with the table . A few short weeks later the new bees made their way out . They left a tiny bit of a dusty trace or two on the floor . I cleaned out the screw holes with a screw driver . Took me about a minute , maybe two .
Classic Bicycle Content - - I have cleaned MANY "mud-dauber" wasp nests from interesting old bicycles !!
Once , only once , I saw a mud nest build on the end of a pump , mounted on a bicycle , stored in someone's old garage . The wasp had used the opening for the valve-stem as one "cell" in her "nest" . The rest of her nest was built along-side of that first "cell" .
Luckily , the dried mud from these nests breaks away easily . And the remaining traces are easy to wash off of the bicycle !
These wasps make a series of tubes , from carefully laid mud . Into each tube go several stunned , paralyzed , but not dead , spiders , along with one egg . A fairly horrible scenario . The paralyzed spiders , hopefully comatose , being eaten alive by the wasp larvae when it hatches . You do realize that the movie "Alien" was not really fiction . It happens all the time , all around us . We are just lucky to be larger than the folks it is happening to !!
Bees are vegetarian farmers , living on pollen and nectar and honey .
Wasps are hunters , scavengers , and killers , living on prey or on carrion .
I go out of my way not to harm any of them . But I smile when I see big happy bees going from flower to flower . Wasps don't give me the same warm-fuzzy feeling ! On the other hand , a paper-wasp nest or two will really help keep the caterpillars off of your garden plants ! Hunter-killers can be useful !
Bicycle Content - - Bees are much more likely to ignore you , even if you bump into them while out cycling . Bees can be aggressive . But wasps can always be MORE aggressive ! Even beyond the whole farmer-versus-hunter lifestyle , most bees can sting only once , and will die afterward . Wasps can sting many-many times , each . Its much less of an investment for them .
Final entomology note , here in North America , "honey bees" are from Europe , "killer bees" are from Africa . The sting from either one is just the same . The difference is that the "killer bees" are extremely aggressive , and do NOT behave like "normal" bees . Meanwhile , our native North American bees are solitary . They lead individual lives , and raise individual families . They go on as they always have for the past 10,000 years or more , since the last "ice-age" . They are quiet and peaceful and , well , solitary !
Marysville Kansas U.S.A.
> So, I am cleaning my Mclean for a nice Sunday ride up Mt. Evans and for some
> reason I decide to look into the valve opening of the pump head on my Silca
> It looks clogged. Now, I have not used it in ages since I hardly ride this
> bike and can not even remember the last time I flated while on it.
> It looks like mud! Or something.?. Well, this won't do at all... I unscrew it
> and look in the other side and see something kinda white. Egads, it just
> Holy smoke! I pull the rubber grommet and a whole family of larve fall out!
> Blech!!!! Some
> are black and one is white! I just got chills!
> Man, what a wierd place for my bike to play host to someones babies!!!
> Mike "Never used a pump for anything but air" Wilkinson
> Castle Rock, CO