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Nature Notebook – Wasps in fall

“Eat, drink and be merry…for tomorrow we die.” Such is the attitude of a wasp in fall.

The workers in wasp colonies have been busy throughout spring and summer with a multitude of chores. They enlarge and repair the nest. They hunt insects, chew them up and feed the goo to the larvae. For this, we should thank the wasps because most of their prey are pest insects.

When the shorter days of fall arrive, all those chores disappear. The queen stops laying eggs and leaves to find a hibernation spot. The workers are on their own to do as they please, but only for a few weeks. The first hard frost will kill them.

Adult wasps feed on the sugar in ripening and overripe fruits as well as flower nectar. When that supply dwindles, they desperately search for any sugar…such as your pop or cider.