This nest appeared inactive this year but has been in this outdoor woodshed in Sweden for years. It's well below freezing during winters. Do these wasps hibernate or what? Nest about 20cm diameter.
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As far as I'm aware only the Queen hibernates to start a new colony the following spring. The rest of the old colony perishes.
Chris Brooks - www.dragonfly-images.co.uk
My Flickr site - www.flickr.com/photos/ceb1298
Thanks Chris. Very interesting. I have found other smaller nests in the area but this is the biggest and oldest.Tough place to live!
In case the above does not make it clear,the new colony in the Spring is not in the old nest.
Wasp nests are strictly annual ,Spring to Autumn then dead,never to be re used.
Even more interesting. All the other nests I've found in this area have only been about 10-15cm diameter. This is much bigger but it is in a generally more protected and undisturbed old work shed so perhaps that allowed the wasps to thrive and build this bigger version! Thanks for the info anyway
Wasp nests can be over 1m in diameter.
If only the Queen hibernates and the rest of the colony perishes where do the new males/workers come from next year? I know nothing about the life cycle of these interesting invertebrates. I am learning from you guys. Thank you.
After emerging from hibernation, the queen will found a new nest herself, making a minature version of the nest in the observation picture. She will rear up the first brood of a few workers herself, once these start foraging and nest building she will remain in the nest until she dies in the autumn. New queens and males are produced in late summer.
Tachinid Recording Scheme
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Queens are mated in Autumn,before hibernating,so wake up in Spring ready to lay eggs.
Males die in Autumn after mating.
Lat/Lng: 59.228, 18.2462