Sunday, May 25, 2008

Wasp's Nest

While I was working in the garden yesterday, my eyes were drawn to what I thought was probably a plastic bag caught in the branches of a large shrub. On closer inspection it turned out to be an empty wasp's nest, about a foot long. I hadn't seen one so close before, and was fascinated by both the cell structure and the tissue-paper wrapping around it, which wasps apparently make by chewing wood fibers and mixing them with saliva until they become a pulp. More information on wasps (including how to tell them from bees) and control measures, if they are close enough to pose a hazard, is available from the University of Minnesota extension service. An empty nest like this one will not be used by wasps again, though other insects can sometimes take up residence in old wasp's nests.

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