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.
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.
- Mystery of missing wasp nests, by Joan Morris
- Wasps Nest Under the Eaves
- More about wasps from National Geographic.
- Leaving the nest: a perspective from Purdue University Plant and Pest Diagnostic Lab.