Looking in a wasp nest

OK it’s not about bees and I have been looking at bees long enough to know the difference but I have been sent some interesting pictures of the inside of a wasp nest so I thought I would share them with you. Anyway it is always good to be able to sum up the opposition and in autumn the wasps are certainly the opposition when they go hive robbing.

The nest was found by one of our members inside a hive cover box on the ground – hence dispelling the myth that they are always built high up.

They passed the almost empty nest to Liz who dissected it and has sent us these photos.

This first shows the size of the nest.
Wasp nest - two halves

And here is a close up of the cut side and layers. The nest is made from strips of wood which the queen peels from untreated fences and sheds. This is then chewed to make a sort of papier mache and shaped into the nest.

Wasp nest - cut side and layers
Wasp Nest Cut in half

And this is a view that is familiar to all beekeepers but this time wasps. Just as in the beehive the cells are all hexagonal.

Wasp nest - eggs
Wasp net showing eggs and larvae.

With a shot here of an adult ready to emerge.

Wasp nest, adult ready to emerge
Wasp nest, adult ready to emerge

And here are the adults – in his case Vespula germanica. It is typical of this species – the German or European wasp – to build a nest that resembles a large hanging football.

Wasp nest - adults = Vespula germanica
Wasp nest adults – Vespula germanica

And here is a view of the top side of the nest.

Wasp nest - top side of layer
Wasp nest – top side of layer

And in comparison here is a photo of the inside of the nest of the English or Common Wasp Vespula Vulgaris

Wasp nest of Vespula vulgaris
Wasp nest of Vespula vulgaris

Though there are many similarities between the wasp nest and the hive there is one major difference in that the wasp nest is never again used by wasps though it may become the home for hover flies.

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