Paper Wasp Nest

Paper Wasp Nest

I’ve been watching them build their home out front in the lower limbs of the large maple tree by the stone dog house. I like wasps – at a respectful distance. They are some of the good guys in the battle against bad bugs. Wasps kill and eat things that compete with me in the garden. The enemy of my enemy is my friend – so long as we don’t cross paths too closely.

Outdoors: 39°F/29°F Sunny
Farm House: 62°F/52°F Pillar form work on GH1
Tiny Cottage: 69°F/62°F

About Walter Jeffries

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19 Responses to Paper Wasp Nest

  1. Bill says:

    Are they in the nest at this time?

  2. I would expect they are inside although I’ve resisted the urge to look. It is cold now.

  3. Bruce King says:

    Are these wasps black with white markings? Pretty large? That’s the kind I love. They eat insects with gusto.

  4. I have one about this size in one of my barns. There are no wasps in it and haven’t been for several years. The interesting thing is that no other wasps have built any nests in that barn.

  5. Interesting… They just built this one this summer. I am contemplating taking down that maple tree for firewood this winter or spring. It has been doing poorly for 20 years and I would like to put apple trees where it is. I am tempted, once it is January and safely frozen, to carefully slice open the wasps’s nest to reveal it’s inner structure. It would be an interesting homeschool project. Then we would find out if anyone still lives there.

  6. kit_smithson says:

    I don’t think you’ll find any adult wasps in there. Even here in Oregon, where the weather is mild, there are only larvae over-wintering in the nests. This is the safe time to remove the nests, or even to move them if you want them to hatch and live in a different place.

  7. Pablo says:

    I crossed paths with a few wasps from a similar nest once. I’ve learned to give them a wide berth.

  8. We had a similar nest in our front trees last year. It was the black and white kind of wasp, and you’re right Bruce, they do eat insects! I noticed several “working” the barn flys. My husband took it down and when he and the kids opened it (after the snow and cold temps! LOL!) There wasn’t anyone living in it. It was interesting though.

  9. Anonymous says:

    We found one of these one summer and have had it in our cabin for several years now. It is amazing that wasps can organize and cooperate and build a structure like this.

  10. Mellifera says:

    Wasps are cool. There’s a whole genus or two (of solitary digging wasps) that spend their time buzzing around horses and cows to snag the horseflies, which they then feed to their hungry li’l wasp babies. A la

    Pretty cool.

  11. Beth says:

    I think those big black wasps with white markings are bald faced hornets, one of the most painful stings around these parts. Not sure if that’s what you have there, but most wasps are enemies to beekeepers. They kill honeybees!

  12. Karen says:

    In northern Idaho we have some of those "black baldies" that build the football nests in trees or the barn, but mostly we have the yellow & black striped ones that build in the eaves, in roof vents, under tarps, under the deck, inside concrete blocks or upturned flower pots… any sheltered place. They are horrid vicious things that will sting for no reason, especially late summer when food and water run low. They eat sweet and meat and are a ruiner of outside eating… they'll land in the plate and saw off a piece of meat to take home, or crawl in a sweet drink and if you don't notice, you could sip the wasp and get stung in the mouth. They completely take over my hummingbird feeders and actually chase the hummers away (I saw both the black ones and the striped ones at my hummer feeder this year). I hate them and destroy every nest I find, as well as setting up wasp traps all over the yard. Anyone who thinks these are a good thing, feel free to come trap and take home as many as you want!

  13. Judith says:

    I noticed about a month ago, a small structure like a honeycomb in the eaves of my 2nd story house. As quick as anything, it was getting larger, and is grey in color and shaped like an upside down semi-closed umbrella. Cannot identify what is flying in and out, but they are fairly large and dark and very busy. Since it is a 2nd floor, my window is not too far away, and all I have to do is open it and look up to the left. Can see them take off high in the sky and zoom away, and sometimes, will see several pop out and go along and sometimes see them waiting like planes to arrive, one after the other, going back inside. Did not want to disturb them, and understand in the winter, they will be gone. Kind of interesting to see them, and notice also, how wonderful they are organized and can build such a structure, and get along so well. Live on LI, New York.

    • Those are good insects. They hunt pest insects, paralyze them with their sting and feed them to their larva. Unless you must get rid of the nest I would leave it. They are fun to watch too. I saw a wasp catch a housefly a few days ago. I didn’t realize they went after those. It then took it over, landed on a sunflower leaf and rolled the fly repeatedly stinging it. Finally it flew away with it’s prey. The nests are beautiful.

  14. Sailorssmallfarm says:

    A question about wasps and pigs: I’ve got a wasp nest in the run I’ve just moved my two pigs into – they can’t get to the nest (it’s inside an old pasture poultry pen), but I imagine their proximity and rooting will likely disturb the wasps. What are the ramifications of the pigs getting stung? Can they be allergic? Do they panic like horses do when stung? They don’t panic when they touch the electric fence, they just jump back, but with a sting, they wouldn’t see where it was coming from, so might be more alarmed.

    • I don’t know. I’ve never seen a problem with pigs getting stung and we have a lot of wasps. I get stung and it just hurts a bit, no allergy. But if someone were allergic it would be a big problem. I imagine even a pig might be able to have an allergy although I’ve never seen it. Googling I see worries about it but no actual incidences of problems.

      Our dogs sit outside wasp nests and catch the wasps out of the air so they can eat them. Spicy!

      • Sailorssmallfarm says:

        Thanks – my gut feeling was to let them just figure it out – I got stung when I discovered the nest, but like you, I don’t have any allergy issues – it hurts when it happens, but wears off fast. They’ve been poking at that pen for a day or two now, with no apparent ill effects, and tonight I saw one get down in the mud wallow on top of a couple of wasps that were there drinking – nary a twitch. So I guess wasps don’t bother them.

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