A little more than a year ago a friend of mine, Niore Iqalukjuak, who happens to be the Mayor of Arctic Bay, was out for a walk on the hills above town. As he was walking he happened to spy a Yellowjacket (Vespula intermedia) . As he didn't recognize it he took a photo of the insect and continued on his walk.
Now seeing a Yellowjacket on a walk is not that unusual most places, but this is the first time that this species had ever been seen above the Arctic Circle. There is much speculation as to how it arrived here, much of centring on a warmer climate, driven by global warming. From a personal perspective, while there is no doubt that we are experiencing climate change, it would seem most likely to be a freak occurrence. It is possible that the wasp stowed away in a shipping container, or a load of lumber. Or even aboard one of the ships from the south (although this was earlier in the season)
What ever the reason it would have to be a pretty hardy wasp to survive our winters here, global warming notwithstanding. Perhaps she'll need to trade her yellow jacket for a parka.