Hibernating wasps

Hibernating wasps

Hibernating wasps
Hibernating wasps

Queen wasps usually hibernate under loose bark to stay sheltered from predators, frost and damp.  These two have found a comfy spot under a tarpaulin on a log pile.  The anchor shape on the face identifies them as common wasps (Vespula vulgaris).  Hibernating queen wasps protect their wings and antennae by tucking them under their bodies.

Queen wasps come out of hibernation in spring and seek a nest site and nectar from flowers.  If the winter is too warm, the wasps may wake up early and starve as insufficient nectar is available.

As nests grow and wasp larvae need to be nurtured, adults catch insect food for the larvae to eat. In turn, wasp larvae regurgitate parts of this insect food as a sugary liquid to feed back to the adult wasps.

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