Wasp Nest Beauty

Friday, December 23rd 2016

The last Friday before Christmas – how time flies! Thank you to Colin and Charlie who came in to help today. We appreciate that it can be a busy time of year!

One of the jobs for today was cleaning out the last of our small bird boxes. The wasps had filled this one with a beautiful domed nest, which they no longer need as each nest only lasts one season.

As well as the more typical hole at the bottom of their oval nest, these wasps appear to have been practically minded and also had a hole in the side to line up with the entrance hole of the bird box!

The nest is made of chewed wood pulp (it’s a bit like paper) and is a fascinating piece of engineering, with a series of layers on the outside (viewed here from the hole in the bottom) and tessellating cells inside in which wasp larvae were raised.

This box also contained a couple of lacewing, who perhaps found it a cosy place to hibernate. These are handy critters to have around if you’re a gardener as their larvae are voracious consumers of aphids.

By mid-afternoon the weather had got wetter, windier and wilder, but there were still a couple of little jobs that needed sorting outside so we wrapped up and braved the outdoors! We’re still smiling!

A well earned and warming cup of tea to finish!

 


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