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Its been a long time


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Well some backround info: I friend of mine was trimming a tree when he accidentally angered a Dolichovespula maculata nest(Bald faced hornet) I was asking about the size of the nest and offered to take it cause hey I am wasp nut, and I wanted to see if i could keep them in captivity as far as I know no one has done work with this species before... this was a few days ago

As of today... 07/23/09

ahahahahaha.... I just bit off more than I could chew LOL the nest is much MUCH larger than a baseball AND I already have it captive yet unattachted to anything, I dont know how I am gonna do this, man these things are as all heck, one that was not captured followed and stung me over 100 feet from the former nest location. Chilling will be the only option they are just too defensive right now, there are 40 to 50 workers on the nest. I dont think I am gonna do anything more with them tonight. Luckily they have crushed crab apples to hold them over till I decide how to tackle this, anyways here are the pics!







The nest also appears to have multiple entrances and exits....(for you non wasp and hornet people this means you cant plug the entrance hole to keep them trapped in their nest also more can swarm out at once in defensice of the nest.) I captured them by hold the KK below the nest as as the branch was cut slam the cover on, it worked failr well only one or two got away. I got stung once and it hurts LOL and they can do it more than once.

Well I think I will chill them down and try to attach them and their nest to a tree outdoors since they are waaaay to jumpy right now.

As of today: 07/29/09

Well its finally done! It was a resounding sucess, this colony will now be able to complete its cycle and add fresh genetics to the gene pool here!

Well its finally done! After 1 hour 90 minutes in the fridge I was just barely able to secure the nest too its new spot, no sooner had I removed the cotton plug then the nastiest defensive swarm I have seen occured, I would say that out of the time only 10 to 15 workers died under my care, this leaves 30+ plus to help restart the colony and I should have tons of new queens, not to mention a pretty nest to collect at the end of the year, I lost my tongs though, I will have to get them at night once they calmed down, as of now I cannot even approach the nest close enough to take photos! Here are the pics!

Here they are using my accidental honey dish that I dropped.


Now the nest in the new location with the cotton plug, I wanted pics of the nest without the plug but they were not having that! In a few weeks they will settle down to their normalselves and I should be able to get really good pics, and my tongs back!



Hopefully the devloping males and queens will not be stunted to their brief stay in captivity.

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Well its a failure, the nest got eaten by squirrels and the adults fled, and now have nothing to do. There are no combs left on the nest, and despite the bad weather we had here the nest or whats left of it is still attachted to the tree, all that effort wasted. :(

I got my tongs back though but thats a small prize.




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Aww. Do you think that the queen would start a new nest nearby?

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Nope its too late in the year, they are likely dead by now since I highly doubt this species, accepts members from another colony to an established nest. Polistes spp wasps will adopt other members of polistes even if they are not related, infact its been documented that some workers go from nest to nest helping out various colonies before moving to another.

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That's really cool behavior. I would expect them to be more like ants and attack nearby colonies.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

I know LOL I helped get that area up and running :D The tree was ground level and they were still chilled so I only got stung once, they however warmed up fast, and I could not get within 10 feet once they were up and running, however that spirted defense could not have them.

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