Where wasps and hornets hibernate?

If a hornet's nest appeared on the site, then you probably noticed that it empties for the winter, and in the spring it comes back to life again. Where these harmful insects go, how and where they hibernate, what to do when they attack and how to defend themselves is described further in the article.

Features of the life cycle of wasps and hornets

Nature has laid it so that the seething life of wasps and hornets is observed only in the warm season. With the onset of stable heat, in the last decade of April, the first individuals appear. These are females that store in their bodies the sperm of males that fertilized them in the fall. Future uterus scout the best places where it is safe and there is plenty of pollen.

Did you know? American researchers have proved that the social types of paper wasps, in the colonies of which a hierarchy is strictly built, are able to distinguish each other according to external physiognomic signs.

Birth and Socket Devices

The main mission of such a wasp is to found a new family. For this, the scout is looking for a comfortable place where the construction of the nest is carried out. It consists of tree bark chewed and soaked in aspen saliva. Dry, the substance hardens and resembles a thick cardboard. After the construction of the frame, the uterus draws inside the honeycomb and lays eggs in them. New offspring appears after 14 days. These are whitish larvae eating meat products.

Therefore, their mother actively destroys all surrounding pests, chewing them carefully to obtain nutritious gruel for young animals. Young sterile wasps (adults) gradually grow on this feed. Their task is to help the uterus to expand the nest and provide food for the future generation, which appears in late summer and early fall. By this period, the uterus manages to lay about 1, 500 eggs.


The mating season of hornets and wasps begins in August and September. Then the working wasps attach additional cells to the existing monastery, and the uterus lays new eggs in them. After 20 days, new prolific females emerge from them. They mate with the males, after which they die. The same fate awaits the old queens and working individuals: due to exhaustion, they cannot survive the second winter.

Important! In late summer and early fall, wasps and hornets are very aggressive. If you accidentally find yourself near a nest, the entire swarm may attack.

In general, the life cycle of the uterus is 1 year (some species may have 2 and 3 years), imago - 1 month, and drones - only a few weeks. Before cold weather, fertilized individuals try to accumulate a lot of nutrients in the body in order to successfully immerse themselves in diapause in winter.

Distinctive features of wasps and hornets

Wasps and hornets are largely similar to each other, and some people even confuse them or believe that these insects differ only in size. In fact, wasps and hornets have different external signs, and the nest designs are also different. These insects are united only by similarities in life cycles. To understand the main differences, the table below will help.

Distinctive featuresWaspsHornets
Socket colorGrayBrown
WaistThinRound, almost merges with the belly
AbdomenElongated, fleecy, barrel-shapedOval and wide
Strip colorBright yellow and black with clear bordersOrange with black, blurred borders
HeadSmallLarge with a wide nape, long twisted mustache
Eyes2 large complex on the head and 3 simple on the crownExpressive, C-shaped, reddish-orange
Body length15 mm adult, 25 mm uterus23 mm adult, 35 mm uterus
Sting length3 mm5 mm

What are wasps in nature for?

Wasps do not give honey and are considered pests in agricultural farms. Each fall, owners of table grape varieties have to fight off the attacks of striped sweets lovers. And attempts to get into the attic or into the barn, where they built a cloister, turn into an unjustified risk of becoming a victim of the whole swarm. Therefore, most victims of these insect bites consider them useless in nature.

However, experts argue that such environmental insects have global environmental missions:

  1. Wasps are predators that, in order to feed their offspring, kill about 14 million other insects in one season (whiteflies, aphids, flies, butterflies and caterpillars, a bear, a scoop, bronzes, May beetles, ticks, tortoises). It is characteristic that each species of these stinging individuals preys on a certain pest. For example, the tiny Spilomena troglodytes “specialize” exclusively in thrips, and the ammophile in scoops.
  2. Wasps contribute to the pollination of flowering crops, transferring pollen from one flower to another.

However, excessively large hornet colonies are fraught with aggressive attacks, as well as damage to garden products. Hornets help regulate their numbers. Did you know? The poison of wasps and hornets emits a specific, elusive smell for humans. If one insect stings, and the other is close, it will certainly fly to “help” a relative.

How do wasps and hornets winter in nature?

In autumn, when the air temperature drops to + 10 C, wasps and hornets leave their nests, looking for more comfortable places for wintering. As a rule, these are rotting stumps, forest litter, cracks in the trunks of fallen trees or attic floors. In such a shelter there should not be sharp temperature fluctuations.

Then, having accumulated plenty of useful substances over the summer, fertilized females climb deeper and fall into hibernation. In their body, a substance is released, the effect of which is equivalent to antifreeze. Thus, the insect cells are protected from freezing and destruction. Many individuals cannot survive the harsh snowy winters or simply become prey for birds.

In the spring, when the air warms up to + 10 ... + 15 ° С, future uterus, which managed to overwinter, become active and begin to build a nest. Often they return to their old places, so for the purpose of prevention, many summer residents burn wasp hives when they become empty.

Did you know? In the Red Book of Ukraine, a rare species of wasp sapiga-polochrum, whose range covers Central and Southern Europe, is listed. In our country, it is found in the Kiev, Cherkasy and Zaporizhzhya regions.

What if wasps attack humans?

In late summer, when the mating season begins for these insects, cases of hornet bites become more frequent. Insects sting pierce the skin of their victim and inject poison under it. Blood toxins spread very quickly in the body, causing an instant reaction. It depends on the human immunity and the type of wasp.

If we are talking about the most common paper individuals, then soon will appear:

  • redness of the skin at the site of a bite;
  • severe edema;
  • pain in muscle tissue.

For people with a weak immune system, as well as the individual characteristics of the body, wasps pose a serious threat, since a light bite can be accompanied by:

  • severe headache;
  • dizziness
  • increased blood pressure;
  • laryngeal edema and shortness of breath;
  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • chills;
  • diarrhea
  • fever;
  • pre-syncope;
  • loss of orientation and consciousness;
  • cramps.

Important! Swelling after a bee or wasp sting passes after a few hours, except when it is a pity in the face. To facilitate intoxication, it is recommended that the victim drink plenty of warm, sweetened fluids .

A fatal outcome due to laryngeal swelling can occur in a matter of minutes, so you need to act immediately in such situations. It is important that the victim immediately receive expert assistance. A similar reaction to a hornet's bite can be observed even in those who previously suffered insect attacks without allergic complications. Many argue that a wasp attacks only in cases of threat to its life, nest or offspring. Keep in mind that this stinging creature can see aggression in any of your actions.

For security reasons, experts advise:

  • Do not get too close to the wasp nests (especially in late summer and early fall);
  • Avoid sudden movements (never wave your wasp away);
  • carry antihistamines with you.

Insect Prevention

Neighborhood with wasps and hornets in the same compound is unsafe and extremely undesirable, therefore, it is important to prevent it in a timely manner. To do this, many owners set up homemade or factory traps in which they lure dangerous insects. The simplest model is an open plastic bottle with a sweet liquid or fermented jam (preferably viscous).

Flying on a treat, insects will not be able to get out. It is important that the entrance is narrow. However, this method is ineffective and is rather a distraction from a fruiting vineyard or berry. The effect of such traps can be enhanced by adding a liquid insecticide to the substance (Actellik, Aktara, Intavir).

Important! The fight against wasps and hornets must be conducted, observing the rules of their own safety. Take care of clothing made of thick material, thick rubber gloves and a headdress with a mosquito net .

An alternative is watermelon peels scattered in the yard, which were pre-treated with an insecticide solution. In this case, it is recommended to choose drugs without a pronounced smell. It is better to deal with the elimination of hornet hives during their diapause, which occurs in late autumn and lasts until mid-spring. If you plan this work in the summer, then act at night. The procedure consists not only in removing the nest from the roof or tree, but also in its complete destruction.

This is done using:

  • boiling water;
  • fire and combustible substances (gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel);
  • "Dichlorvos";
  • bleach (or other detergents);
  • specialized purchased drugs (for example, "Gett", "Alatar", "Bold", "Raptor").

Learn more about traditional and chemical wasp control products.

Wasps and hornets are both beneficial and dangerous insects. The appearance of their settlements on the site especially threatens the health of people with individual intolerance and weak immunity. Therefore, in the spring-summer period, you should be careful in winter to get rid of the nest of stinging neighbors.

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