Autumn Wasps

The life cycle of a wasp colony begins in early spring with the new queen wasp, and it ends with her death in winter.

During her life she may have laid up to 300 eggs a day. Towards the end of summer she produces eggs that develop into new queens and fertile male wasps. As the weather cools the existing queen reaches the end of her life and the wasps will start to die off. By late autumn/winter the whole colony dies.

The new queens leave the nest and are fertilised by male wasps before finding a place to hibernate over winter. They won’t all make it through the winter, due to the cold and predators like spiders. Those that make it will find a place to build a nest and the whole cycle starts again.

Wasps Eating Berries On An Autumn Day
Jock o' Bennachie

Jock Says: Wasps feed on sweet things like nectar in flowers and in fruit. They need lots of insects which they feed to their young. They are only active in the warmer months when there’s lots of food around. In autumn they can be pests as their search for sweet food can take them into houses and they are often quite drowsy and angry. Be careful!

This is part of the Autumn Minibeasts information.