A Wasp is usually a narrow waisted insect that is of the suborder ‘Apocrita’ and order ‘Hymenoptera’, which is neither a bee nor an ant. Wasps do not constitute a complete natural group with a single ancestor since they share their common ancestors with Bees and Ants.
While there are tens of thousands of wasps species, they are usually divided into two main categories: Solitary Wasps, which live independently and constitute the majority of the wasps species, and the Social Wasps, which live in colonies.
These insects may not interest a lot of people because of their small size, still, it’s the motive of this article to show that these tiny creatures deserve a great deal of attention, since there are a number of facts about them that people tend to be ignorant of.
Let us, therefore, learn about some of the distinctive characteristics and informative facts about Wasps in the next sections!
15 Interesting Facts about Wasps
This article intends to provide 15 most important and fascinating facts concerning Wasps and relating to their lives, distinctive characteristics, unique nature, eating habits, and behavioral traits.
1. How long do Wasps live?
The lifespan of a Wasp totally depends on its species. While the Social worker wasps (females) usually have an average lifespan of 12-22 days, the drones (males) live slightly longer. The queens, although exceptionally, can live up to one year since they hibernate.
How long do Wasps live indoors?
Generally, Wasps tend to live for a shorter duration when they are indoors since they get isolated from their food sources as well as their nest. When they are indoors, they are also vulnerable to getting dehydrated and dye because of that.
Thus, indoor Wasps usually live for more than a few days or for a maximum period of a week. However, if a Wasp gets to make a nest indoors, in that situation, the Wasp can live for about a month.
How long do Wasps live outdoors?
Living outdoors, the lifespan of Wasps naturally depends on their species and location. Normally, worker wasps live for 12-22 days, the drones live for a slightly longer time and the queens live for about 10-12 months.
2. Do Wasps die after they Sting?
Wasps generally don’t die after they sting once, rather they can sting numerous people multiple times which makes them dangerous especially if someone is allergic to them.
Unlike Bees, which leave its stinger in a person’s skin leading to its own death, Wasps have a needle-like smooth stinger that allows them to retract their stingers from a person’s skin after stinging and therefore can attack and sting people many times without dying.
3. Difference between Wasp and Bee?
People often tend to get confused between a Wasp and a Bee because of their similar shape and features. However, there are considerable differences between the two concerning their appearances, behaviors, nests, and eating habits.
Wasps have a distinct yellow or black band around their abdomen, but on the other hand Bees have a more light brown or brown-yellow colour. While Bees are somewhat ‘hairy’ to allow the gathering of pollen, Wasps are generally bald, shiny and smooth in appearance.
There are some differences in their food habits too! Bees usually feed on nectar and pollen from flowers and sometimes from trash in the form of sweet leftovers, whereas Wasps are generally carnivorous predators that capture other insects.
However, adult Wasps also feed on nectar, honey dew and rotting fruits.
Since Bees leave their stinger in the person’s skin, they generally die after stinging once, but on the other hand, Wasps tend to sting numerous people multiple times.
Regarding their nests, Wasps generally construct their nests from a ‘pulp-like’ secretion that they produce by chewing wood fibers and mixing them with saliva. However, Bees make a string of vertical combs mainly out of wax.
4. How long can Wasps live without Food?
Wasps can generally survive for about a few days to a few weeks without food.
The survival of Wasps depends on several factors, such as species, age, current location and weather, and therefore greatly varies on the question, how long they live without food supplements.
Some species that feed on sugary food require to eat more often than the insects hunting Wasps species and therefore tend to live for a shorter period compared to the latter.
Extreme weather conditions also affect their survival and thus they tend not to live more than a few weeks without food.
5. Do Wasps make Honey?
YES! Some species of Wasps do make honey.
Certain species of Wasps, such as the Mexican honey Wasp, makes a different type of honey, in the same manner Bees produce, primarily for their consumption in a very limited quantity as compared to Bees.
Some other Wasp species, such as the Yellowjackets, bald-faced hornets, and common wasps usually consume nectar but don’t make honey.
6. Will Wasps return to a destroyed nest?
Yes, Wasps definitely return to the location of their destroyed nest and stay there for a few hours before realizing that their nest is gone. Once they realize their nest has been destroyed, they shall not build their nest at the same location again.
How long do Wasps stay after their nest is destroyed?
There is probably no exact time! While solitary Wasps can relocate after investigating the earlier site for a few hours, the social Wasps are likely to die since they are used to living in groups with the queen.
How long do Wasps live without a nest?
As soon as winter arrives, Wasps nests are evacuated since new ones are to be made the following summer.
The harsh weather conditions kill most of the male Wasps and the queens are left exposed to the predators. Thus, without a nest, Wasps can survive not more than a few weeks.
How long do Wasps stay after their nest is destroyed?
Wasps usually stay for a few hours at the site of their nest and investigate the location trying to realize what happened to their nest.
Once they understand that they are unwanted at the place, the solitary Wasps tend to relocate and the social Wasps tend to die since they are used to living in groups along with the queen. Thus, they don’t stay for more than a few hours after their nest is destroyed.
7. What attracts Wasps to Humans?
Wasps get attracted towards human beings primarily because of sweet or floral scent and fluorescent colors of dresses.
Wasps have an extremely sensitive sense of smell and taste, therefore they are likely to be attracted towards people if it gets even a slightest trace of food in the form of smell on a person’s skin.
Wearing bright colors or floral pattern dresses can also attract Wasps towards humans. Also, using strong scents or perfumes with a sweet smell can genuinely attract them.
8. Can Wasps fly in the Rain?
The answer is YES and NO at the same time! Wasps may fly for a little distance when its a light rain, but during a heavy rain it is not possible for them to fly.
Once Wasps are exposed to rain and their wings become wet, they aren’t able to fly well. The rainwater causes their wings to become very heavy and it is not possible for them to support their body weight in a way that allows them to fly properly.
At that moment, they’re more likely to hide somewhere safer until the rain stops. However, if it’s an event of light rain, they are often spotted hanging out around their nests or flowers.
9. What time of day are Wasps least active?
Wasps tend to become least active or inactive during the night time.
They are mostly active during warmer weather, i.e the daytime and become literally inactive at night or dusk.
The darkness and the cooler temperature of nighttime affect the normal visibility and ability of Wasps to perform several tasks.
Thus, they usually don’t leave their nests during the nights until and unless they are provoked by people causing harm to their nests.
10. What Colors are Wasps attracted to?
Wasps are mostly attracted towards bright and fluorescent colors.
Wasps generally tend to utilize their eyesight to recognize and identify flowers for which they are genuinely drawn towards the bright colors mistaking anything of such colors to be flowers.
Most of the Wasps are not able to see the color Red! Thus, any color other than red that is bright, such as green, yellow, orange, etc., attracts Wasps the most.
11. How fast can Wasps fly?
The speed of Wasps totally depends on its species and therefore different Wasps can fly at different speeds. The average speed of Wasps can be said to be 7 to 30 miles per hour.
Most of the Wasp species tend to fly at a speed of just a few miles per hour.
On average, Yellow Jacket Wasps will fly at around 7 miles per hour, while Hornets move a little quicker flying at around 14 miles per hour average. In some exceptional cases, some Wasps can even fly as fast as 30 miles per hour.
12. What eats Wasps?
Wasps are the prey of a wide variety of creatures including insects, birds and other animals. Some of them are dragonflies, spiders, mockingbirds, sparrows, lizards, geckos, mice, weasels and black bears.
From insects and other invertebrates to birds and mammals, there are numerous creatures feeding on Wasps.
Among the insects are other wasps, praying mantids, robber flies, spiders, and centipedes. There are 24 different types of birds that eat Wasps, some of them include magpies, sparrows, bluebirds, mockingbirds, and nighthawks.
Reptiles such as lizards and geckos are the most common predators of Wasps. A few mammals are also known to feed on Wasps.
They include black bears, badgers, mice, weasels, and stoats. A particular type of pitcher plant called Sarracenia, consumes a species of Wasps, the Asian hornets.
13. What Colors are Wasps attracted to?
Bright and fluorescent colors attract Wasps the most.
Wasps generally mistake the bright colors to be flowers and get attracted to them. The color red is not visible to Wasps and therefore they tend to ignore the particular color.
Any bright color other than red, such as yellow, orange, green, etc attracts Wasps the most.
14. What do Wasps eat?
The general dietary preferences of Wasps include nectar, fruits, honey dew, plants and small insects.
In spite of these common preferences, the diet of Wasps generally depends on their varied species.
For instance, while the Bald-faced Hornets consume only fruit juices and nectar, Yellow Jackets consume “human food” like meats, other insects and spiders, and are often caught swarming around cans of garbage.
15. What is a group of Wasps called?
A group of Wasps is generally called a nest, a swarm or a colony.
If the group of Wasps are eusocial, then it can be called a swarm or a colony but if it is a group of solitary wasps, then it may be called a congregation or aggregation.
Since most of the Wasps are solitary in nature, they are often spotted in a group. Still, Hornets are a type of Wasps that are quite frequently found in a swarm.
Therefore, this article has covered a wide range of important topics concerning and relating to the most commonly found but the most neglected insects, Wasps.
It is evident that these tiny little insects deserve a great deal of recognition and that they have some great facts concerning their lives, nature, behavior and habits.
These facts that are discussed and discovered in this article are immensely informative, interesting and fascinating at the same time.
We encountered the questions relating to their features, distinctive characteristics, lifespan, eating habits, speed and even its differences with that of bees, giving us a great chance to know something unique about the Wasps.
Thus, even though they might seem irritating and responsible for spoiling their picnics to the majority of people, the facts concerning them are numerous and unique in their own way.