Social insects are known to build complex, intricate nests that are always interesting to study. Yes, even wasps, although their nests are somewhat simpler than those of ants or termites. Basically, a wasp nest is a giant nursery where the queen hatches and rears new wasps with the help of other members of the nest.
Different wasp species build different types of nests from different materials. For example, the mud pauper will build tubular nests made out of mud and clay, while paper wasps use wood pulp which they create by melting wood with their saliva. This gives their nest a papery appearance.
Let’s take a look at the paper wasp nest, since it is the one that you are most likely to encounter. These nests are typically built on trees or buildings, and they can get quite big, with the biggest one recorded by the Guinness Book of World Records being 12 feet long.
Paper wasp nests have a cellular structure, with each cell being designed to house a wasp, from its egg stage all the way to adulthood. Cells that have an egg in them are sealed off until the wasps hatch. The cells are also hexagonal, which is a shape that supports structural integrity and which allows the wasps to pack in as many cells as possible into a small space.
The wasps will often leave food near the egg, so that when it hatches, the larva will already have something to eat. Workers will then tend to the larva, dropping off pieces of insects for them to feed off and, in certain cases, they will even drop whole caterpillars. After some time, the larva will become a pulpa, going through the metamorphosis process, before hatching into an adult.
The nest must also maintain a suitable temperature and humidity level to create the proper conditions for growing the young wasps, which means that it has to be well insulated. This is why the wasps will use the wooden pulp as a building material. It is also why the nest will only have one tiny entrance with layers upon layers of cells inside.
If you have a wasp nest on your property, it’s best to get it removed as soon as possible. Not only will the wasps inside harass you whenever you try to spend some time outside, they will also attack anyone that comes near their nest. Contact us today and we will help you get rid of it.