Huge Wasp Nest Built Along a Window Shows an Incredible Cross-Section of the Hive

Written by Katie Melynn Wood
Updated: August 22, 2023
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Even though most people back away quickly when they see a huge wasps’ nest, you can’t deny that these are amazing creatures. The video below captured one of the more elusive intricacies of wasp behavior in a unique way. This video shows a wasps’ nest that was built right against a window. This allows the viewer to see the inner workings of the nest without having to remove it or disturb it. We’re guessing they may have wanted it removed in order to safely access that part of their home. Fortunately, they were able to see exactly what they were dealing with (and marvel at these animals) before they tackled the job.

The close-up shots show the wasps busy inside the nest. Individual cells house wasp eggs, which will develop and eventually hatch. Zooming out, the video shows the overall size and structure of the nest. It appears to be sandwiched between the clear glass of the window and a door or other solid structure behind it.

Wasps fly into and out of the nest but the majority of the activity takes place in the nest itself. They primarily expend their energy on building the nest and protecting the vulnerable eggs and larvae inside. There are empty spaces within the nest between layers of cells. This allows the worker wasps to move around and continue to build or feed the young larvae. The cells house wasp eggs. Some of the eggs have already hatched and grown into worker wasps, which is why the cells are empty.

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Paper wasp
Paper wasps have thin abdomens.

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How Do Wasps Build Their Nests?

Wasps’ nests are built of a papery substance that is actually chewed-up wood. From the outside, they look almost like paper mache. The pulpy substance is dried and creates a solid outer barrier. We often don’t get such great views of the internal workings of a wasps’ nest, especially while the wasps are still moving around inside.

The interior of the nest has cells, as mentioned before. They are circular or hexagonal, which is a very efficient shape for the construction and protection of the colony. The nest includes spaces for the adult wasps to move around and work. They chew up bits of wood and stick them together to build the structure of the nest. One of the amazing things about wasps and similar insects, such as bees, is that they work together seamlessly to build structures like this one. The queen begins the process and worker wasps continue until the nest is fully formed. As they mature, the baby wasps become new workers. There are also new queens in the offspring, who will continue the life cycle in nests of their own.

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About the Author

Katie is a freelance writer and teaching artist specializing in home, lifestyle, and family topics. Her work has appeared in At Ease Magazine, PEOPLE, and The Spruce, among others. When she is not writing, Katie teaches creative writing with the Apex Arts Magnet Program in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. You can follow Katie @katiemelynnwriter.

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