It's yet another grey, wet, windy and dismal day just like yesterday and the day before that and the day........ anyway, as I didn't feel inclined to go out in this not too pleasant weather I've taken the time to sort through some of the images that I've taken over the last couple of months and I though these few would make for an interesting post.
These images of a Queen Common Wasp resting on a shed in my garden were taken on the 30th. of March during a week or so of Summer like weather that had temperatures reaching 20+ degrees C (70F.)!
A couple of days later I noticed this inside the shed....the beginnings of a nest?
And this after another two days....looks like things are progressing nicely!
Since these images were taken there has been no further developments on the nest construction, although the Queen is still in attendance!
Below is an article I found on the internet, courtesy of
The Tameside Citizen a local news and information publication for Greater Manchester, it explains nicely what's going on!
Although 11 species of true wasp are found in Europe, only two, the Common Wasp (Vespula Vulgaris) and the German Wasp (Vespula Germanica) are important as pest species. Both species overwinter as queens, the Common Wasp usually hibernates in buildings and the German Wasp typically overwintering under the bark of trees.
In spring the overwintering queens leave their hibernating quarters to seek nesting sites which could be in a hole in the ground, a hollow tree or artificial structures such as eaves, lofts and attics, garden sheds etc. The queen starts to build her nest with a papery material that she makes by chewing small pieces of wood mixed with saliva; this is known as Wasp paper. She will raise the first few workers by her own efforts and those workers will then commence the enlargement of the nest and caring for the immature Wasps to follow. Nest construction starts in earnest in June and will reach its maximum in size in September, when 5 - 10,000 workers may be present. These workers will forage for food up to 400 metres from the nest. The size of wasp colonies will vary from year to year, the severity of the previous winter is probably the key factor. In the Autumn the young queens mate and leave the nest to hibernate, the rest of the nest dies out and the nest is never used again.
The video below shows the Queen Wasp having a wash and brush up, (now you get the title!!). And the last few seconds are just me experimenting with the close up capabilities of the camera!