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Although wasp can be a great help with harmful pest around our flower beds and food crops, they can be a huge aggravation to us. Wasp eat grasshoppers, flies and aphids. They also like nectar, tree sap, fruit and human foods which can cause them to be a huge nuisance at picnics. Their food choice is not the only thing that makes them annoying, they can also be loud and very aggressive. Wasp can be a fierce predator and can pack a powerful sting. And if a wasp feels it is in danger, it will emit a pheromone that will signal other wasp to come to his aide. Wasp’s stingers are no barbed like other stinging insects, thus giving them the ability to sting multiple times. 

Wasp have a very short life span. The worker wasps, which are sterile females, only live about 12-22 days. Males typically live longer to carry on the reproduction cycle.  Queens are the hardiest of the colony, living to ripe old age of a year. She will remain in “hibernation” for the winter, then emerge in the spring to build new nest and lay her eggs. She looks after the larvae and feeds them until they become workers. The workers then take on the role of foraging for food the feed the new set of larvae and defending the nest. In late summer, the colony produces drones and new queens. Drones are males that will mate with the new queen. They fly away to mate and find new places for the queen to hibernate. The cold weather will eventually kill of the workers and male wasp, the queen will begin the cycle all over again. 

Wasps used wood and bark to make their nest. This is what gives it the look of paper. The queen will look for suitable materials, such as cardboard, tree logs and fences. She will then use her strong jaws to scrape off the wood fibers. She will chew on them using the salvia in her mouth to break down the fibers until they are a soft paper pulp. She will then fly around with her mouthful of the pulp until she finds a suitable spot for her nest. Most wasps like a cool, dry dark place. Once she chooses her spot, the work wasp will them help her start to form the hexagonal shaped cells of the nest. Mud is often used to reinforce the nest. As the colony grows, so does the nest.