SD7807 : Wasp Nest

taken 3 years ago, near to Radcliffe, Bury, Great Britain

Wasp Nest
Wasp Nest
The Wasp nest is a fascinating piece of engineering constructed from wood which the wasps strip from fence panels and garden sheds etc.

Common wasps (Vespula Vulgaris) build their nests in almost any location, favourite places are lofts (as here), sheds, old rabbit and vole burrows in the ground, inside air bricks, cavity walls, chimneys and just about anywhere that is dry and undisturbed. They prefer higher locations but this is not always the case.

All species of social wasps construct their nests using some form of plant fibre (mostly wood pulp) as the primary material, though this can be supplemented with mud, plant secretions (eg resin), and secretions from the wasps themselves. As nests are being established in the spring the queen wasp will start to gather old dead wood from untreated fence panels or sheds, even garden furniture. As the nest progresses and worker wasps have hatched, they take over nest material collection duties. The workers take this material back to the nest and hand it over to young wasp larvae which turn this chewed wood into a paste which the adult workers then use to continue expanding the nest. Multiple fibrous brood cells are constructed, arranged in a honeycombed pattern, and often surrounded by a larger protective envelope. The paste which is used to construct the nest contains a certain amount of wax which helps with waterproofing

By late summer/early autumn the nest size will have expanded considerably (This one is larger than a beach ball). By this stage, a mature, live, nest like this one may contain numbers of between several hundred and several thousand individual wasps.

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SD7807, 566 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Sunday, 14 September, 2014   (more nearby)
Friday, 19 September, 2014
Geographical Context
Wild Animals, Plants and Mushrooms  City, Town centre 
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Camera (from Tags)
Panasonic Lumix TZ60 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SD 784 077 [100m precision]
WGS84: 53:33.9278N 2:19.6558W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SD 784 077
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Other Tags
Wasps  Wasps Nest  Loft  Rafters 

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