Thursday, 19 April 2012


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!


holdingmoments said...

Interesting; and great close ups of the wasp.

Impressive video too.

Erm, don't tell me that after owning one of these cameras for over a year, it has a macro facility? lol

Roy said...

Thats interesting info Trevor.
I tend to give these a wide berth.{:))

The Herald said...

Thanks Keith.

No macro, I'm affraid, just a good zoom!...[;o)

Thanks Roy.

I'll keep 'watching' for a couple more weeks and see what happens!!

But if the boss gets her way it will soon be gone![;o)

Bob Bushell said...

Her majesty looks really well, but will the temperature have a bad effect? I love your photos, they are superb.

Roy said...

I know, you will have a considered and constructive discussion on the matter and then do what she says.{:)

Andrew said...

Wonderful Trevor... I have spent the last few years destroying wasp nests in my shed at about the stage of your images.... and then used my car wash sponge to fill the gap at the top of the door. It never dawned on me take a pic. Doh!

grammie g said...

Hi Trevor...That was awesome watching it take a cleaning up, but it also made me laugh I just got such a kick out of his actions !!
I try to stay away from these fellas though! The last encounter I had with one was 3 bites and a 4 hour cardiac unit visit to the hospital hooked up to all kinds of things ..Hard being a outdoor person and gardener when your allergic!! eeeeks!

The Herald said...

Thanks Bob, Yeh,I was wondering what the outcome would be after a couple of frosty nights, but so far all seems to be okay!...[;o)

You got it in one Roy!!..[;o)

Hi Grace, Sure was some amazing flexibility going on there! I did think that maybe I might have a go,maybe not!!

Sounds like your doing the best thing in staying well clear!!...[;o)

ShySongbird said...

They are impressive constructions. We had one in our shed once. A good job my friend didn't see it, she has a severe wasp and bee phobia! Great photos and there was an awful lot of energy being expended in that grooming session, well captured Trevor.


great film Trevor, i used to dig the nest out for fishing bait,using the grubs and the cone.the chub loved it. we used Cymag, the same stuff they use to gas Badgers.That was many years ago and i cant run as fast now to get away from the angry ones, But they are great builders


The Herald said...

Andrew, thank you.
I'm always on the lookout for a good photo[;o)

Thanks Jan, I don't know how long I'm going to leave it, it could get a tad scarey once they start to multiply![;o)

Thank you Peter. Yeh,I'm definitely not into running these days, I'll have to work out at what stage it stops being a good photo subject and starts to get 'angry'!!...[;o)