What Do Queen Wasps Do During Winter?
Most insects are inactive during winter. This includes wasps. These winter insects usually die due to lack of food during the colder months. That being said, not all wasps die. The exception being queen wasps.
Why queen wasps do not die in Winter
When Autumn arrives the majority of male wasps die. This happens quickly, usually over a period of 2-3 weeks. As we’ve said, this is because of the lack of food, mostly nectar and fruit.
During this period, queen wasps go into hibernation. Not all of these wasps find a safe place to hibernate. Many of them die as well. Others are eaten by predators like spiders. There is also the possibility that the queen emerges too early and there is not enough food. This often happens during mild Winters.
What happens in the spring?
Any queen wasps which survive until spring, will then begin to develop a new colony. The queen starts by building a basic colony. This colony is usually small because it only needs to support a handful of young. Most often these nests are built in sheltered places like under ledges or the corners where walls meet.
The queen may also select places like gutters, your attic, garage, shed, bushes, or tree stumps. Once this nest is built, she lays eggs in the cells of this nest. This is why so many people need wasp control in the spring.
The queen tends to these eggs until they hatch into male workers. The process continues with the queen laying eggs and thus the nest expands. Soon the queen will not have to do anything. There are enough workers to maintain the nest and feed new-born wasps.
The lifecycle continues
At this point the queen is still laying eggs. As Autumn approaches once again, some of these eggs will develop into queen wasps. Eventually Winter arrives and the male worker wasps die. Any queens which are produced will then leave the nest to hibernate during Winter.
When Summer comes around the process repeats itself and the lifecycle of the wasp continues. Also, it doesn’t necessarily need to be Winter for the queen to leave. If the nest becomes too large, queens may leave to setup new colonies.
Ultimately this cycle makes Winter the perfect time to remove wasp nests. Remember, the nest should be deserted, making it is safer to remove. Regardless of this be careful. There may be stray wasps hanging around. And even if you remove the nest the wasps may return. Wasps often build their nests in the same place year after year. This is because there is some particular thing which attracts them to the area. In this case you may need a pest inspection and professional help in order to remove the nest permanently as well as treat other winter insects.