Wasps, Dirt Daubers, and Hornets Questions

Bees make nests and store food that humans and bears love to steal.
There is a lot of information about bees.

Bee larva - Image

I haven’t found much on Wasps, Dirt Daubers, and Hornets.

They do make similar nests.

Is there a queen?
Do they raise their young (larva) within the cells of the nest?
Is there any food storage? Is it similar to honey?

There is a huge fear response to wasps and hornets. I certainly wouldn’t do the research. :eek: But, I am curious about their nesting.

Finally, do these insects ever fight? I can’t recall seeing a bee and wasp together.

Turns out Bees have hives and wasps / hornets build nests.

This article doesn’t answer the main questions I raised. So I guess the thread stays in GQ?

there are some that make single solitary nests and don’t live in a colony. also there are those kinds that live underground.

I’ve heard that hornets can be really dangerous if you make them mad.

Mad as . . . gee, maybe there should be some creature that might complete that analogy. Possibly a big black bug – they’re even more scary. Any suggestions?

Honey bees construct their brood chambers out of wax - in the wild, they would probably choose a hollow tree or log in which to construct it, and the nest could last for several years, with (I believe) a mother-daughter succession of queens.

Yellowjacket wasps construct brood chambers that look similar, but are composed of paper made from chewed up wood fibres, the nest is usually encased in a spherical paper shell and their choice of location could be any kind of dry cavity - the nests are usually a strictly annual phenomenon (all the adults except new queens die in the autumn) - and as it hasn’t got to last long, they may build it in a more exposed place such as embedded in a hedge or under the overhang of a roof.

Yellowjacket wasps prey on caterpillars and other invertebrates - they don’t really make anything that resembles honey (at least not anything you’d wish to spread on your toast) - and because the majority of the nest population doesn’t overwinter, they don’t store much food - instead, all of the resources get poured into raising the current year’s brood.

In my subjective experience, wasps vs humans fight more than wasps vs bees - because we have more similar food resource interests to wasps than they do to bees.

There are species of wasps (if you include hornets) that prey on bee hives - If you google ‘giant japanese hornet’, you’ll find some excellent, but scary footage of this.

there are wasps that will lay their eggs in the larvae of other insects, including other wasps. not really a fair fight the adults attacking the young.

Before we got married, my wife’s house once had hornets living underground on either side of the path to the street. They would patrol the whole yard, and one never knew what might set them off. They never stung us or the dog, but of course the possibility was always there. The landlord ignored the problem, so I went and got a can of hornet killer. It sprays in a tight stream up to ten feet, as the manufacturer assumes that you don’t want to get close to their nests. It worked.

Thanks everyone.

I’ve had a few run ins with wasps. My biggest concern is disturbing a nest. You can usually avoid the ones patrolling.

Dirt daubers are ok. They aren’t aggressive. I wait until winter (after they leave) to take down nests on my house. I figure live and let live. They don’t hurt anything.

Wasp nest

Dirt dauber nest

Hornet nest

Perhaps a solution to the killer African bees? Except, a large population of hornets would be even more dangerous to humans and pets. :frowning:

I get both yellowjacket and mud dauber wasp nests on or around my house on a regular basis.

Yellowjackets make paper nests, and they’re highly social. There are dozens or hundreds in a nest, which means you’re liable to get stung several times if you try to get rid of them the wrong way.

Mud daubers, on the other hand, are not social. They make small, very sturdy nests from mud. Once those mud nests dry, they become, essentially, mini-bricks, and are hard to break. There’s usually just one larva in that nest. The mother mud dauber wasp isn’t very aggressive, and generally doesn’t stay around long after finishing her nest, so you’re highly unlikely to see her (let alone get stung) if you knock down her nest.

The “Australian Solution”. :smiley:

For those who haven’t heard of the Australia’s Cane Beetle “solution”, a link might be helpful.