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Hornetboy

GIANT NESTS OF SOCIAL WASPS (YELLOWJACKETS, HORNETS, & PAPER WASPS)

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PLEASE NOTE THAT MOST OF THE PREVIOUSLY POSTED PICS IN THIS THREAD ARE NO LONGER HERE AS A RESULT OF A SERVER CHANGE. YOU CAN SEE THE UPDATED NEST COLLECTION PICS BY CLICKING ON THIS LINK HERE:

 

http://www.venomlist.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=27926

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello, any fellow wasp lovers who are here!

 

Please allow me to introduce myself. This is my biography:

 

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I am an expert on social wasps (as a hobby). I have an intense passion for the genus Dolichovespula (generally aerial-nesting yellowjackets). I specialize in the bald-faced "hornet" (D. maculata). However... I also love Polistes (common paper wasps), Vespa (true hornets), and Vespula (generally subterranean-nesting yellowjackets). I think their beautiful nests are masterpieces of nature! I love collecting abandoned GIANT nests for my collection (The bigger the better!). I usually purchase the nests online. I am always looking for more impressive nests to add to my collection. Please let me know if you have access to any. If you don't currently know where any nests are, then please keep me in mind for the future from now on (Thanks!).

 

Some of the showpieces in my extensive nest collection include a huge D. maculata nest which is 3 feet (36 inches) tall, an enormous P. annularis (red wasp) nest from east Texas which is the size of a dinner plate (12 inches in diameter), a large Brachygastra mellifica (Mexican honey wasp) nest from south Texas near the Mexican border, and a giant overwintered, 2-year perennial V. squamosa (southern yellowjacket) nest from Alabama which was discovered in an atypical aerial situation attached to a 2-story home. I wouldn't have the perennial yellowjacket nest in the first place if it wasn't for the kindness of Bob Jacobson (The scientist who described V. flavopilosa). Of course, I have many other exceptional nests in my collection. I often refer to my apartment as a "wasp nest museum" because I have so many nests! LOL!!!

 

Speaking of which, I got a video of my "wasp nest museum". It lasts approximately 10 minutes because I am narrating as I am shooting the video. Please remember to turn up the sound so you can hear me speak. Here ya go:

 

 

Also, there are over 100 photos which show most of my nests in this link here:

 

http://flickr.com/photos/72915472@N00/

 

I have my own website which educates people on the beneficial aspects of yellowjackets, hornets, and paper wasps. The website needs to be updated although it has LOTS of valuable information and pictures (I haven't worked on it in ages!). The link for it is listed in my profile on the VenomList website.

 

Also, I enjoy taking care of my pet bullsnake, giant wolf spider, and a thriving colony of giant South American cockroaches.

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Anyway, I just wanted to introduce myself so I wouldn't be a stranger here. B)

 

I have attached photos of 3 exceptional nests from my own personal collection. The nests shown are a large mature V. crabro nest, an enormous P. annularis nest which is literally the size of a dinner plate, and a huge D. maculata nest which is 3 feet (36 inches) tall!!! Enjoy!

 

All replies are welcomed by me.

 

Take care,

Terry

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Edited by Hornetboy

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THOSE ARE HUGE! Nice collection you got going there. It would have been sweet to see those with their occupents LOL there must have been thousands in the hornet nests!

 

Welcome!

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Yes we have several others here who like these too! Great intro! And its good to see others into these!

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*Falls of her seat* Those things are freaking HUGE! Welcome! I love wasp to and would love to learn more about them and the different species. I love your collection! I would love to see it in person someday.

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Good to see another wasp enthusiast!

 

That annularis nest is awesome, have any photos of your B. mellifica nest?

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I am glad that you are very impressed with my gigantic nests. I have plenty more nests in my collection which are "off the scale". Everybody who sees my nests are totally "blown away" by them. I love watching people's bottom jaws hit the floor when they see the sheer size of my nests! Hehehe!!!

 

THOSE ARE HUGE! Nice collection you got going there. It would have been sweet to see those with their occupents LOL there must have been thousands in the hornet nests!

 

Welcome!

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I am glad that I am not the only "strange" person who loves wasps. ;) I feel that the other wasp enthuiasts here and I are all in a special brotherhood together because, unfortunately, there aren't many people who think wasps are wonderful creatures like we do. We probably seem strange to the people who don't understand our passion towards these "bees from hell" (Well, this might be true in my case! *laughs out loud*). One thing is for certain... We, as wasp enthuiasts, are indeed a special breed (There is not many of us.)!

 

Yes we have several others here who like these too! Great intro! And its good to see others into these!

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It is good that my nests have made such a dramatic impact on you! This is what I was hoping for in the first place because when my nests grab a person's attention, then it is easier for me to educate him/her on the benefical aspects of wasps and how they should NOT be needlessly killed and what wonderful & fascinating creatures they are. My nests are my "hook" to draw people into my world. Most people have not seen nests as large as mine. I am here to answer any questions which you might have if you want to learn more about wasps.

 

*Falls of her seat* Those things are freaking HUGE! Welcome! I love wasp to and would love to learn more about them and the different species. I love your collection! I would love to see it in person someday.

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I don't feel so alone anymore! Hehehe!!! :P

 

I am glad that you like my ENORMOUS P. annularis nest. In fact, this is my #1 favorite Polistes species! In my humble opinion, P. annularis is the ULTIMATE North American paper wasp. Nonetheless, I would have to say that D. maculata is my # 1 favorite species in the North American yellowjacket & hornet group. Yep, the bald-faced "hornet" has a special place in my heart... that cute American "minature flying penguin"! :lol:

 

Yes, I do have high-quality photos of my B. mellifica nest. You can check them out here:

 

http://bugguide.net/node/view/110228

 

and

 

http://bugguide.net/node/view/110253

 

and

 

http://bugguide.net/node/view/110254

 

You can enlarge the photos by clicking on each one. Also, please don't forget to read my informative comments below each photo. Enjoy!

 

By the way, the Mexican honey wasp (B. mellifica) is a unique wasp in North America since it is very rare on this continent. To my knowledge, it occurs in only two places in this country... south Texas and, also, Arizona near the Mexican border. I am intrigued by this unusual tropical wasp because it is one of the few wasp species which actually makes & stores honey in its nest which the native people harvest & consume. I am VERY LUCKY that I finally have a B. mellifica nest in my collection after trying to get one for literally years! It is next to impossible to obtain one in this country (unless you personally go down to south Texas and collect one yourself)! If you don't mind, perhaps you can send me more B. mellifica nests for my collection (since you are in the state of Texas). Since I got that enormous P. annularis nest from Texas, I would be interested in getting more of these giants as well. Of course, I would be willing to pay for shipping on anything which you are kind enough to send to me.

 

Good to see another wasp enthusiast!

 

That annularis nest is awesome, have any photos of your B. mellifica nest?

Edited by Carolina_wolfie

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Welcome! Great to know more and more wasp enthusiasts here - it has been hard to find people interested in these fascinating creatures. Those are some fantastic nests you have there! I think that Polistes nest is easily the biggest Polistes nest I have ever seen, and I have seen too many to count! I am fortunate enough to have a bald-faced hornet nest which a friend from the US sent to me, but it is nowhere near the size of yours in the photo.

 

Incidentally your website happens to be one of my favourites. Check mine out too: http://www.vespa-bicolor.net

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By the way, check this out for sheer size (posted here before but I'm lazy to go search for the post, lol!). A nest of a tropical hornet known as Vespa tropica I found in Singapore, which was around 5 feet in both height and width! Unfortunately I wasn't able to obtain this nest.

tropicanest1.jpg

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Cool! I'm a memeber of bugguide too! Those are awesome nest! I'm going to camp on July 18th and they have tons of wasp there! I'll try and get some pics for you if you like.

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Just fantastic! I think its really great that we have you all here! We can learn so much from you all! Looking at these nests are really surprising! While I knew some bee's and wasps could build such huge nests, I had no clue they could get that big unless they were killer bee's!

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P. annularis occurs a bit north of where I am, the largest wasps here are P. carolina, P. metricus and P. perplexus. I've seen nothing close to a Polistes nest that size. Of what I've seen, P. carolina nests can get to about 2/3 the size of that P. annularis nest.

 

Thanks for posting photos of the B. mellifica nest! Very cool display. I've never encountered a colony since they're in the extreme south of Texas, a road trip would be cool eventually. I wish more swarm-founding wasps occured in the US.

 

By the way, the Mexican honey wasp (B. mellifica) is a unique wasp in North America since it is very rare on this continent. To my knowledge, it occurs in only two places in this country... south Texas and, also, Arizona near the Mexican border. I am intrigued by this unusual tropical wasp because it is one of the few wasp species which actually makes & stores honey in its nest which the native people harvest & consume. I am VERY LUCKY that I finally have a B. mellifica nest in my collection after trying to get one for literally years! It is next to impossible to obtain one in this country (unless you personally go down to south Texas and collect one yourself)! If you don't mind, perhaps you can send me more B. mellifica nests for my collection (since you are in the state of Texas). Since I got that enormous P. annularis nest from Texas, I would be interested in getting more of these giants as well. Of course, I would be willing to pay for shipping on anything which you are kind enough to send to me.

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Thank you very much for your reply, vespa! I was wondering when you were gonna show up in this discussion. :P

 

Yes, I am familiar with your website and your work with wasps. You are my hero. I've been quietly lurking on the sidelines and enjoying all the fantastic photos you've posted in this group (and also reading the very interesting discussions you've had here). I've been quiet until now because I've been thinking of an effective way of making a lasting impression on people's minds when I finally do make my grand entrance here. I think I've accomplished my goal! Hehehe!!! ;) My HUGE nests never fail to make a lasting impression on people! Anyway, I think you have an awesome website (and wasp journal)! Speaking of websites, I really DO appeciate your kind words regarding mine. I am glad that my website is one of your favorites. I just wish I could get off my butt and do the updates which it needs. Well, at least my website is still educating people.

 

Yeah, my P. annularis nest is the biggest Polistes nest which I have ever seen also! I have a special fondness for P. annularis because it is an intimidating wasp which often builds HUGE nests (unlike most species of North American Polistes).

 

I think it is wonderful that you were able to obtain a D. maculata nest from the USA. It is such an amazing work of nature, eh? I have D. maculata nests coming out of my ears (My collection is quite extensive.)! By the way, how large is yours? I think we are very blessed to have this wonderful species native to our continent alone! D. maculata is so American! LOL!!! I think this species makes the perfect representative of an American species.

 

On the other hand, you have many species in your country which I would LOVE to have over here (such as Polistes gigas, Vespa mandarinia, and the various species of Vespa which build HUGE aerial nests)! By the way, would you mind sending me some preserved specimens? I've been wanting to obtain some exceptional specimens of male & female P. gigas and also a couple of very nice aerial Vespa nests for my collection. I would be forever grateful to you if you could possibly collect and send these items to me! Of course, I would pay for shipping on anything which you are kind enough to send. Please let me know. Thank you very much, vespa!

 

By the way, what is the largest size that a P. gigas nest can reach? Also, what are the typical sizes for mature Vespa nests there? Speaking of nest size, that is definitely an exceptional V. tropica nest which is pictured in your other post! I remember seeing it when I was following your other discussions on this forum. It is also in an ATYPICAL aerial situation since this particular species normally builds subterranean nests.

 

I am looking forward to your reply. :)

 

Oh, I had to come back and edit this post because I want to show you one of two Vespa mandarinia japonica specimens which I have in my collection. I am pretty sure that they are queens. Here it is:

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Edited by Carolina_wolfie

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Yes, I would love to see photos! I am sure that the wasp enthusiasts here would love to see them also.

 

Cool! I'm a memeber of bugguide too! Those are awesome nest! I'm going to camp on July 18th and they have tons of wasp there! I'll try and get some pics for you if you like.

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I am STILL learning new things about wasps! Hehehe!!! :P

 

Just fantastic! I think its really great that we have you all here! We can learn so much from you all! Looking at these nests are really surprising! While I knew some bee's and wasps could build such huge nests, I had no clue they could get that big unless they were killer bee's!

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You had mentioned that the P. carolina nests which you've seen can get to about 2/3 the size of my enormous P. annularis nest. Let's see... 2/3 of 12 inches is 8 inches. WOW!!! That is still huge for a Polistes nest, Waspman! You would make me the HAPPIEST person in the world if you could possibly send me any and all of these large P. carolina nests from now on whenever you come across them! I prefer them to be as large as possible with little or no damage and with their pedicels still attached. Please keep me in mind for any future nests which you come across. Thank you very much! :) Of course, as you already know, the best time to collect these nests are soon after they are abandoned in the late fall/early winter.

 

No problem regarding the B. mellifica nest photos. It is my pleasure to show you a few of my nests. Yeah, that is another thing which I find fascinating about B. mellifica... that it is a swarm-founding wasp (very similiar to honeybees). B. mellifica also has a barbed stinger like a honeybee. I think taking a road trip would definitely be worth it for you if you can find even one B. mellifica nest!

 

P. annularis occurs a bit north of where I am, the largest wasps here are P. carolina, P. metricus and P. perplexus. I've seen nothing close to a Polistes nest that size. Of what I've seen, P. carolina nests can get to about 2/3 the size of that P. annularis nest.

 

Thanks for posting photos of the B. mellifica nest! Very cool display. I've never encountered a colony since they're in the extreme south of Texas, a road trip would be cool eventually. I wish more swarm-founding wasps occured in the US.

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That queen you're holding is awesome! I was going to ask you about the wasp in your avatar but I know what it is now. Do you like bee nest too?

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Thanks for your kind words too, they greatly flatter me! I'm also glad to know that my website has been visited and that you find the content interesting. I have loads of new findings, info and a new trip report (I guess the "journal" you mentioned referred to these reports?) to be uploaded soon, but I have been quite busy AND lazy! I'll get around to it sooner or later though.

 

My D. maculata nest is around 20 inches high and 14 inches wide. That's quite big already, though nothing compared with yours. The structure and the composition of the envelope is fascinating, nothing like the wasps in my region. Indeed D. maculata is truly an American species, when I think of wasps in your area it is the first species that comes to mind!

 

P. gigas nests don't get that big actually, anything over 4 to 6 inches in diameter would be considered quite a good-sized one. But the size of the cells are shocking. The female cells are already large by any standard, but the male cells protude out visibly at the edges and often an adult male finger can easily fit into the widest part of these cells! For Vespa nests in Hong Kong, the nests of aerial species like V. affinis and V. velutina usually get to a maximum of 16 inches in diameter and 28 inches in height. In tropical areas like Singapore, however, nests of the same species can reach sizes which have to be seen to be believed! For some strange reason, too, Vespa tropica often builds in an exposed aerial location in Singapore. The biggest Polistes nests I know of come from P. olivaceus; these can reach 8 to 10 inches, sometimes with three pedicels. This is a very common species and I have already located 11 or 12 nests this year, most of which I will soon be relocating because the locations are all outside houses and likely to be destroyed soon.

 

Vespa mandarinia is not present in Hong Kong, but our largest hornet Vespa soror is V. mandarinia's closest relative, and is almost identical in habits and behaviour (among other things, they nest underground, and invade the nests of honeybees or even other social wasps in groups, killing the adults and removing the larvae). Here's a pic for comparison.

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Yep, I am holding the world's LARGEST species of hornet! The infamous one from National Geographic's "Hornets from Hell" program. :)

 

Bee nests are okay. In fact, I have a small preserved honeybee nest (a couple of small wax combs from a colony that was just starting to build). However, I like wasp nests a lot better!

 

That queen you're holding is awesome! I was going to ask you about the wasp in your avatar but I know what it is now. Do you like bee nest too?

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Yep, I am holding the world's LARGEST species of hornet! The infamous one from National Geographic's "Hornets from Hell" program. :)

 

Bee nests are okay. In fact, I have a small preserved honeybee nest (a couple of small wax combs from a colony that was just starting to build). However, I like wasp nests a lot better!

 

That's the largest hornet in the world?!!! :o You're joking! I thought it was the European Hornet Vespa crabro! But after reading this site I was wrong: http://www.vespa-crabro.de/hornets.htm

Edited by Black Widow

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Yes, I am referring to your trip reports. I am looking forward to any future updates!

 

Your nest from the USA is LARGE for a D. maculata nest. The typical size for a mature nest of this species is basketball-sized. I love calling D. maculata the "American minature flying penguin" (because of its black & white coloration)! :lol:

 

Well, I am not surprised that the cells in a P. gigas nest are huge... taking into account the size of these magnificant paper wasps. I can only imagine that the cells in a V. mandarinia nest and a V. soror nest are huge also. Heck, I am impressed with the size of the cells in my V. crabro nests! So, my bottom jaw will probably hit the floor when I see some of the nests which you will be sending to me in the future. Hehehe!!! Anyway, thank you very much for letting me know the typical sizes of mature nests in your country. It really DOES answer some questions for me.

 

By the way, your comparison photo is impressive to say the least!

 

I have enclosed more incredible photos for your enjoyment! The 1st one is a perennial Vespula germanica nest from New Zealand. The 2nd one is a huge Vespa nest from Asia. The 3rd one is a giant 2-year perennial Vespula squamosa nest which I personally own. The 4th one is the same nest which I own. I would have to say that my perennial nest which is pictured is the LARGEST nest in my collection! The 5th one is an enormous D. maculata nest from my personal collection. The 6th one is another huge D. maculata nest which I own. The 7th one is the same nest. The 8th one is my V. crabro nest which was pictured in my first post. Enjoy! :)

 

 

 

Thanks for your kind words too, they greatly flatter me! I'm also glad to know that my website has been visited and that you find the content interesting. I have loads of new findings, info and a new trip report (I guess the "journal" you mentioned referred to these reports?) to be uploaded soon, but I have been quite busy AND lazy! I'll get around to it sooner or later though.

 

My D. maculata nest is around 20 inches high and 14 inches wide. That's quite big already, though nothing compared with yours. The structure and the composition of the envelope is fascinating, nothing like the wasps in my region. Indeed D. maculata is truly an American species, when I think of wasps in your area it is the first species that comes to mind!

 

P. gigas nests don't get that big actually, anything over 4 to 6 inches in diameter would be considered quite a good-sized one. But the size of the cells are shocking. The female cells are already large by any standard, but the male cells protude out visibly at the edges and often an adult male finger can easily fit into the widest part of these cells! For Vespa nests in Hong Kong, the nests of aerial species like V. affinis and V. velutina usually get to a maximum of 16 inches in diameter and 28 inches in height. In tropical areas like Singapore, however, nests of the same species can reach sizes which have to be seen to be believed! For some strange reason, too, Vespa tropica often builds in an exposed aerial location in Singapore. The biggest Polistes nests I know of come from P. olivaceus; these can reach 8 to 10 inches, sometimes with three pedicels. This is a very common species and I have already located 11 or 12 nests this year, most of which I will soon be relocating because the locations are all outside houses and likely to be destroyed soon.

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Edited by Carolina_wolfie

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