In the animal kingdom, there are plenty of queens. Most of them are flying insects, especially bees. However, there are other bugs that are pretty like bees that have a queen: wasps. These insects have a hierarchy, and it needs to be the first one to go and provide to the colony. They will be the ones in charge of establishing the nest and many other things that you will learn once we talk about how important they are to the environment and their peers.
Does a queen wasp look like others?
First, wasps have very distinguishing features and can be easily differentiated from other flying insects, however, if you come to think of it, most of them look the same, and in this case, it is no different. Wasps have several species, and normally the queen looks terribly like its workers. Regarding size, they are larger and have a tiny waist, making their abdomen to look like it is thinner. However, this does not happen in all the species, especially in the paper wasps since they have the same size as their workers.
In their characteristics, we can find a pointed abdomen and their growth can go up to 3.8 cm in some cases; however, this depends on the type of wasp. They have bright yellow stripes around their black body. As we said previously, their distinguishing characteristic is that their abdomen is thinner and have a sharp stinger.
What’s the queen wasp’s behaviour like?
Now that we have spoken about its appearance, we must talk about its behaviour. It is not like a common wasp, as they have all the responsibility to build their nest from the ground up. They are the first ones to awaken when the spring comes and must feed as soon as possible, so they can find a safe space where to start building their nest. Also, their main function is to lay eggs for the colony to grow strong. They are the ones that delegates the functions to the other wasps and must ensure the survival of the colony for all the future generations (although she is the only one that can do it).
Of course, there is something that you need to know about them. There are always little queens in training. Even if the queen wasp is killed (most probably by humans since they are all the time inside the nest), the colony will continue, the workers will move on from the old queen and select one of the ones that were being trained, so it is their responsibility now to continue with the legacy of the colony. They are going to do the job that they were trained for and making sure the colony survives.
Remember that there are always eggs that were laid by the queen, so if you think a solution to a wasp problem is to kill the queen, it is not the case as someone will always take the place of the previous one. This is one of the best ways to save their future, as queens are very cunning, savvy and of course, smart if we evaluate them as if they were humans.
Can a queen wasp sting?
Insects need to have ways of protecting themselves from other animals and predators, and as you might know, wasps have big stings that are not afraid to use. They will naturally defend themselves by using the sting. It is interesting to know that even though queens start hibernating during the winter months, they can sting any person or animal that tries to move them.
Also, when a queen stings you, you will get the same symptoms as if a normal wasp stung you. They do not tend to be more dangerous than others. However, queens have two different barbs that they can use. One of them is to get the prey and immobilize it, and them with the other one they can inject venom that will render its victim paralysis, which is their goal, so they can feed more easily without resistance.
When do wasp queens go out of the nest?
First, queens go into hibernation once the cold temperatures of the winter start to come. Most of the other wasps will die, and the only one that can continue living through that is the queen. Once winter is over and the temperatures rise, the queen will wake up from her hibernation. Immediately, she will try to find food and lay her first eggs. These will be female workers, who are sterile, so they will not take its place if anything happens. Going in spring, new workers will start foraging for the queen, as it did when they were just larvae, and it had to get food for them to develop correctly.
You must understand that they do not leave the nest after they have established a colony. They will not go over and be out where predators can get it. As autumn comes, they will start searching for another place where they can survive the freezing weather and enter their hibernation status, and then start the cycle all over again.
How much time does a queen wasp live?
In the animal kingdom, most animals have a purpose, and once they have fulfilled it, then it is time for them to die and give in to the new generation. A queen’s purpose is to have a stable colony where the workers know what to do and can keep on. Before they die, they will leave virgin queen larvae, this will happen in the months of Autumn as it is the mating season for them. Once winter passes, the cycle will start all over again. If you think about it, there are few stages in their lives, and they technically only get to live one year.