We’ve finally seen the stinging back of wasps now for this year. But it does beg the question, where do the queen wasps go during the winter. We know only the workers die, but what is it they actually do during the cooler months? And when do the rest of the wasps die off?
From the beginning of September, queen wasps are starting their preparations for winter. A fertilised female wasp will start to prepare herself to hibernate. The queen wasp will go somewhere quiet and sheltered to have a nice long sleep.
This is why so many of us find wasps in our homes during this time of year. A queen wasp wants somewhere to stay that they will be protected for the entire winter season. However, most of these queen wasps will still die. For every 4,500 queen wasps out there in the UK, only 2 will survive. This is because we kill them, and also predators hunt them for food as well. Warm winters are also contributing to more wasp deaths each year.
You would think that a harsh winter would be bad for a queen wasp, but that is far from true. Mild or warm winters encourage queen wasps to come out of hibernation early, leading them to find there’s no nectar available yet. With the longer, colder winters, the queens stay asleep until the flowers start to produce the nectar they need to sustain themselves.
Out of the places in your house, the conservatory is the most popular place a queen wasp would want to take as it’s hibernation place. Conservatories offer lots of cracks and crevices that are perfect for hibernation. This is why you must make sure that all areas of your home are sealed against pests before the winter comes. No one wants a pest infestation for Christmas! And it’s always best to find out what a queen wasp looks like to readily identify a problem.
Once the queen wasps come out of hibernation, they will be aggressive and searching for somewhere to build their nests. This is a prominent time for wasps, and if you see any on your property you should call in the pest controllers to deal with the problem. Catch-it offer emergency wasp control for any queen wasps or wasps nest you may find in the future.