Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Paper wasp nest

And, on the logs at the top of the beach, a wasp nest, abandoned now at the end of summer.

Looks like a paper tree.

This is a paper wasp nest, probably Polistes dominula, which builds open nests, not enclosed in a paper "football", like the yellow jackets do.

Identifying a Wasp or Hornet Nest
  • Paper wasps - Paper wasps build open and exposed nests that resemble an upside down umbrella. These nests can get quite large late in the season, and adult wasps will readily sting if they sense danger approaching. Some wasps build new nests on top of old nests, giving the false impression that they are reusing a nest.
  • Yellow Jackets - build nests that are surrounded by a papery covering, and are commonly found within wall voids or cavities in the ground. When disturbed, yellow jackets are quite aggressive, and can attack in large numbers. Yellow jackets are typically most aggressive in late summer and this leads to an increase in yellow jacket stings.
  • Bald faced hornets - build nests that are covered in a papery shell and European hornets build their nests in natural cavities like tree stumps, or in cavities within buildings.
  • Mud Daubers - construct nests using mud or clay. The nests are small, tubular mud shutes usually built either in existing cracks or crevices in masonry, stone or timber around homes, sheds and garages. (From Rentokill)

View from the top. Two of the cells still contain enclosed larvae.


  1. How beautiful! I've only been aware of the ball type before.

  2. We had a very quiet wasp summer. No yellowjacket nests at the cabin and very few visiting at meal times. Can't say I'm sad they found another place to pester. - Margy


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