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Removal of paper wasp nest

 
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While preparing an area in the yard for a new garden, I came upon a large paper wasp nest. Not wanting to kill the wasps, since they are beneficial, I chose to attempt removal of the nest. Early this morning, before the light fully filled the sky, my husband and I went out with clippers and a plastic bag. We were fully covered so that no wasps could get into our clothing and we wore nets on our heads.  The nest was very still when we got out there. I gently clipped the grasses and twigs that were attached to the nest on the underside. A few wasps wandered out but did not fly towards us. Then, we carefully opened the plastic bag and placed the entire nest inside, closing the bag carefully. We walked calmly through the woods and found a new location to put the nest. I carefully opened the bag, tipping it upside down, trying not to jostle it much. I'm happy to report that the nest was successfully relocated and nobody got stung.  They will undoubtedly need to abandon that nest and build a new one, but at least it will not be in my garden spot!
 
pollinator
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Location: Anjou ,France
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While this was a very generous deed I am unsure if it will work . I will explain wasps and their relatives bees are aliens we really don't know how their brains work . A fact I find quite wonderful but I digress . It would definitely not work with bees as each bees has a mental map that help them find themselves a way home . If you take any bee aware from it's home and release it with in about 4 miles of where it's home is it will fly home . If you move the bee hive to a new place within four mile then every bee that leaves the hive will return to where the hive was originally . So if the their cousins the wasps behave similarly you will have quite a few sad wasps hanging round where the nest used to be .

David
 
pollinator
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Location: Central Virginia USA
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I'm not sure what type of wasps/bees /hornets you might have been dealing with, but if they are indeed paper wasps, nest has an open face underneath where you can see the details of the top of the larval cells, then I had to deal with them quite a bit this past summer and relocated many nests--also killed a few, and got stung by a few, but considering the numbers I was dealing with that was a small percentage.

In the past I used to knock down the nests but the wasps just got confused and kept coming back to the old nest site and rebuilding. but relocating the nest is a viable option and often I could track the wasps for several weeks still tending their brood-- I think getting them early morning before the wasps are flying  is key, , so everybody goes to the new location. cold seems to help keep them quiet and wet conditions discourage flying as well.

The paper wasps build out of the rain, so when I relocated them I tried to keep a cover over them, they did stay and try and raise whatever brood was left if the nest had not been destroyed.  Although I did not keep exact count of numbers, it did seem the majority of the wasps adapted to the new location, I did see them make occasional visits to the old site, especially at first.
 
Susan Mann
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Thanks for your responses. Interesting!   At least when the garden area gets till later today with the big tractor pulled tiller, their nest will not be turned into the ground! If they come back and build again along the sideof the woods, that is fine!  They seem pretty harmless and not aggressive.
 
bob day
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Yes, I have actually developed quite a fondness for them, and they are great insect hunters. Definitely a benefit to a garden. Ground wasps/hornets on the other hand stung me pretty bad this summer--mostly because they are unexpected and before I knew it I had trespassed on their turf in the middle of the day when they were quite active.

When cutting tall grass I have learned to go slow and keep my eyes open for their activity
 
A berm makes a great wind break. And Iwe all like to break wind once in a while. Like this tiny ad:
Heat your home with the twigs that naturally fall of the trees in your yard
http://woodheat.net
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