10 January 2012

Ghosts of long-gone wasps

One of the surprises of the bathroom renovation was finding these two small, fragile, beautiful wasps nests under the rafters when the ceiling was removed -
An older - or at least, greyer - and larger nest was high up in the corner - it broke when I tried to take it down, revealing a lot of honeycomb cells inside -

Wasps have no methods of storing food for the winter, so most colonies don't last beyond the autumn - the pregnant queen  finds somewhere sheltered to hibernate until spring, when she'll start to build a nest and lay her eggs. In April to mid-June, she'll be busy raising her first 20 young of the year. By autumn, the nest grows as the colony grows and workers make more of the paper bands and more cells for laying eggs.


Jane Housham said...

The nests are really beautiful and have a strange effect (on me) of pulling against my usual response to wasps which is very hostile and negative -- rehabilitation of the wasps' image.

Sociedad de Diletantes, S.L. y Casilda GarcĂ­a Archilla said...

How beautiful surprise have you got!! You are in luck. I didn´t known this sort of nest. Thanks (Sorry by my English)

Connie Rose said...

Looks more like a rat's nest up there than a wasps' nest! LOL