Finding the Wasp Queens:
While getting some wood for the chimney, i found 2 wasps laying one next to another (less than 2 cm distance) on the same wood log, this log used to be located in the middle of a big wood log pile ( back in autumn) .
I was curious because, on this top of this same pile of logs (that was covered by a black plastic sheet) we had to use chemicals to exterminate 2 hives of wasps, back in summer, so there was hundreds of dead wasps between the wood logs, but that was back then – in summer – since then the bodies of the dead wasp have long decomposed.
Also, i found a Queen wasp a month ago in midst of another pile of logs, she moved a bit, so i killed it.
But since a couple of weeks, the temperature has been around -7°C to -14°C, so when i found these 2 wasps sleeping, i noticed that the wings were between their legs, so i realized they were sleeping – hibernating, but i know that only queen wasps hibernate through winter, all normal wasps die … so i was surprised how come both queens were hibernating one next to another, i had to test the theory.
Generally wasps reproduce between a single young queen and a male drone in the vicinity of their nesting area. After successfully mating the drones sperm cells are stored in a tightly packed ball inside the queen. The sperm are kept stored in a dormant state until the following spring. At a certain time of year (often around autumn time) the bulk of the wasp colony dies away leaving only the young mated queens alive. During this time they leave the nest and find a suitable area to hibernate for the winter.
After emerging from hibernation during early spring the young queens search for a suitable nesting site. Upon finding an area for her future colony the queen usually constructs a basic paper nest into which she will begin to lay eggs. This varies from species to species in specifics as not all wasps live in paper nests.
Wasps as pets at home:
I put both wasps in a glass jar, and took them home (temperature: + 19°C to +21°C °), a couple of hours late both Wasps woke up see the pictures and video below:
Queens Wasps re-hibernate ?
I had to keep the wasps in another room, this other room has a temperature of +14°C , so after spending the night in that room, today the wasps are either sleeping again or are simply dead ( but i noticed one of them have the wings between legs – thus probably hibernating, will update this blog with further information) for now i will not re-introduce the wasp to +20°C again, i need to research a bit about wasps before doing so.
– this blog post will be updated –
I you are a scientists studying wasp, and would need me to do a specific experiment feel free to contact me, also you are free to use my observations.
I was unable to release them for fear they will attack me or nest near my house, so i kept them hoping they would hibernate again (room temperature was around 14 degree Celcius/ covered from light.
The basically went in/out of sleep …. On April 5, i checked them, they were both dead, a couple days prior both were still alive.
Death theories: there were too many factors that could have influenced them, but they did resist 2 month in captivity without being fed and without being in hibernation stage. the 2 plausible theories : they ran out of oxygen or their starved, either way i’m not very proud of this experiment!