Wasp Nest Revisted

The garden headline in our local paper today read “Mystery of missing wasp nests.”  How intriguing. Mary Ann K of Walnut creek wrote to the columnist, and had this to say:

“Wasps have been building a nest under the eaves just outside our sliding glass door to the patio  They were not aggressive, and we were able to freely enter and exit, being careful to close the screen door.  The nest grew to about the size of a tennis ball .  The other morning when I checked, it was gone.

We searched the patio and garden and found nothing.  Who stole the nest?”

Joan Morris, columnist for the Bay Area News Group, says that a number of creatures like to dine on wasp nests!  I didn’t know that.  Apparently birds will peck at the nest to retrieve the larva, eventually knocking it to the ground.  Opossums also enjoy snacking on the nest itself, and can easily climb to retrieve it.

wasp nest

Wasp Nest

wasp nest

Wasp working the nest

I checked on our little hive this morning to be sure all was well.  The wasps are quiet and passive, so it’s easy to forget they’re still there.  When they built the nest this summer, it concerned me to see it so close to our back door. After educating myself on the nature of these creatures, I decided to leave the wasps alone.  Now I feel like the protective mother, looking out for her babies in the nest. Are you as fascinated as I am, or a little creeped out (like my husband).?  The more I understand them, the more interesting they become.

Halloween Countdown

The Literate Gourd

The Literate Gourd


21 thoughts on “Wasp Nest Revisted

  1. The wasps over here are very aggressive, and quite prolific; their nests are built every three or so feet on the fences and eaves if left to their own devices. They lose their charm when they insist on stinging everyone who dares to step outside. I’m glad you have more docile wasps in the Bay Area than are over here in the valley. If they would behave themselves we would leave them be, but two came into our house just last week with their stingers ready to strike.


    • Perhaps with so many close together, they become more aggressive. What kind of wasps are they? These are paper wasps, and docile ones at that. Sorry to hear you have to struggle to stay safe outdoors. That doesn’t sound like fun at all.


  2. Holy crackers, those are either very huge or you got very close. You can even see the syrup in the hive! Unfortunately we have what we call ‘yellow jackets’ here. They are relentless, they’ll chase you through the yard, in circles. Once we were to check the mail for a friend on holidays, when I opened the box, one stung me on my ear then got caught in my hair….hilarity ensued. I Linked over to national geographic and then to some fire ants who surf themselves over to a rock and attack a lizard……it’s wild out there.


    • I remember seeing a program about fire ants once upon a time. Now *that* is creepy. Sorry to hear about the yellow jackets and the sting to your ear. Are they as toxic as a bee sting or worse? The third time I was stun by a bee I had a very bad reaction and ended up calling in sick to work. I was fine the next day, but it was a bit scary. It flew into my car and got caught under by sleeve.


      • Oh man, I’d probably crash for sure. I’ve been bit by both a wasp and a bee, I think the wasp sting burns more. Once I parked my car and leaned forward to pick up my purse on the floor and felt a big sting right in the middle of my back. When I turned to look, a poor little bumble bee was there on my seat back. I’d been leaning on the poor thing all the way home from the city and when I moved he let me know he did not appreciate it (do they actually die after they sting you? I hope not) I love bumble bees, dad used to have this pink feather duster he’d drag thru the planters to help spread the pollen for his bee friends in the yard…just like a moustached fairy with a wand..ha


    • A lot of people are. I’ve been stung by a bee three times in my life, but never by a wasp. I’m still not afraid of bees, because the stings were inadvertently provoked: Once I stepped on one, the second time I apparently kicked one with an open shoe taking a grassy shortcut on campus (it stung my big toe) and the third time one flew in my car and got caught under my sleeve. That one really hurt, but again, it was accidental.


  3. Ours are yellow jackets. Very mean and ornery members of the wasp family. They’re worse than bees because they don’t lose the stinger and will go for you over and over again until you either squish them or run far enough away. One flew in my car once on the way to Merced and stung my neck and arm before I was able to pull over and get it out of the car.


    • You know all these years, I assumed I was stung by a bee in my car, and wondered why I had a bad reaction. The first two bee stings certainly hurt, but I was over it quickly. The third sting put me out of commission for 24 hours. Now I’m wondering if it was a wasp. It flew up my sleeve and stung me on the side of my arm.

      Did you have a reaction, other then pain and swelling?


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