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Thread: Paper wasps

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    Owen, WI, USA
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    2,561

    Default Paper wasps

    Not sure if these are much in the way of pollinators but they are beneficial insects. My question is if the nest structure is itself movable can they be relocated? Will they reorient similar to honeybees? Do they need a few miles to keep them from returning to the original location or can they be moved a few hundred feet?
    Any enlightenment on paper wasps would be most helpful.
    Sheri

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hillsboro, Wisconsin, USA
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    1,675

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    They are useful to some degree in insect control in the orchard, etc. but I have found them to be most unpredictable and hostile - they will readily sting without provocation - if you get within their prescribed "territory".

    One thing I have found to control them on the farm is to leave their nests alone after the season - I don't clean them off the eaves, as they don't tend to return to a previously occupied nest area.

    I know this doesn't answer your question, but that's all I know about them...

    MM

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    Owen, WI, USA
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    Hi MM
    I had a paper wasp nest between the screen and the glass of the awning window to my candle shop last summer (which meant I couldn't close the window all summer!). It was right next to the door where people came and went all day, they never bothered anyone. In fact, you never saw them except when they were in the "observation hive". It was cool, the queen came and founded the colony and for quite a while it was just her, then slowly a couple hatched. At the height of their colony there was only about 6 at any one time. Shortly after that a big spider came and set up camp next door and the wasps were gone the next day.....to friendlier environs I assume, but maybe the spider had one big meal! Anyway, this particular small group was fine with the traffic near them, maybe because they were so small.
    That said, it is always a thrill to open a birdhouse in late summer and have a half dozen wasps fly out at you. Never been stung though, maybe we have wimpy wasps up here.
    Yes, they do abandon the nest once fall gets here and leaving it alone til then would be an option if there wasn't going to be the construction that is planned. Even the mellowest wasps might have a problem with hammers banging first thing in the morning. I've been known to pitch a fit myself under those circumstances!
    Sheri

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Kennebunk, Maine
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    Default

    I often see some larger paper wasp nests on buildings. Do they sometimes re-use a previous years nest and add to it, or do several queens decide to work together on a single nest?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Albany, NY
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    48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Luke View Post
    I often see some larger paper wasp nests on buildings. Do they sometimes re-use a previous years nest and add to it, or do several queens decide to work together on a single nest?
    They do not reuse an old nest and usually you will only have 1 queen. I did have a aerial yellowjacket nest that relocated that contained 3 laying queens.
    This was the first time I had ever come across this, but I suppose it can happen rarely.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
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    Default

    Thanks Russ this is what I needed to know. I will just move the wasps a little ways on her property and, if she will let me, bring the bumbles home.
    I would love seeing the pics of the hornets if you can find them. I am thinking the paper wasp nest she is talking about might actually be a bald face hornets nest because she described it as sort of "built around and over the birdhouse, so we will see.
    Sheri

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Albany, NY
    Posts
    48

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    I collected and studied wasps, yellowjackets and baldfaced hornets for years in addition to my beekeeping. I have found that there numbers in some areas have been on the decline for several reasons. This is a shame because they are verygood pest control. All of these bee's nests can be moved and reestablished in another area. There are several ways of doing this, it all depends on the nest size. The coolest baldfaced hornet"observation hive" I had was made out of plexiglass. I found a baldfaced hornet nest that the owner was going to spray, captured all the bee's; including the queen and separated them from the hive. Removed the paper envelope exposing the brood comb. Then took alittle white elmers glue and applied it to the bottom of the comb. Then placed the comb in place inside the plexiglass "hive". 24 hours later the glue dried and the bee's were introduced back onto the comb. I watched over the summer this hive's growth and there behavior. If I can find the pic's I will post them.

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