Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Remember It's Still March
It has been so warm here with temperatures in the seventies, I have trouble remembering that it is still actually March and this is still upstate New York. When I saw this hornet's nest under the deck, right next to the entrance to the basement, I really got my knickers in a twist! I'm all for live and let live when a hornet's nest is out away from the house, but this one we walk over and next to many times in a day. As always, Ed came to my rescue. I was not anywhere in the vicinity when he removed this little wasp nest from beneath the deck. I've been stung and I don't care to repeat the experience.
Of course I worried for nothing. As it turned out this nest was from last year and not new construction. After all this is March, it's too early for hornet activity. Ed saved the nest so I could get a good look at it. It's structure is quite fascinating. Inside is a flat surface built of paper hexagons just like any ordinary wasp nest you might see.
The cone shaped covering is made in rings of paper that vary in color. The last layer seems to have just one stripe completed. We frequently see wasps or hornets chewing on our wooden patio chairs. One has to wonder if the dissolved wood fibers and wasp spit are the raw materials for the nest.
The side of the nest where it had been attached to the deck shows the layers of paper that form the nest. What an incredible process they use to build their home. It's fascinating to study as long as no one is home!