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  • This is a wasp next.

  • In the wild, some of these nests are built

  • underground using clay or mud.

  • But you might be most familiar with the paper nests --

  • the ones built out of saliva and pulp,

  • typically found attached to buildings or trees.

  • And these guys can get big.

  • According to the Guinness Book of World Records,

  • the largest wasp nest was 12 feet long

  • and 18 feet all around.

  • Now, we're all accustomed to avoiding these nests,

  • because, obviously, wasps are scary,

  • but today we're going to go inside one,

  • because there are a lot of fascinating factors

  • that make these nests work for wasps and their babies.

  • So, let's cut into one.

  • Pretty easy to cut through this.

  • The hardest part was definitely here at the top,

  • where you can tell the cells are more dense and wider.

  • If I can give you a scale for how big this is,

  • I mean, like, look at it next to my head.

  • This is like a brick cellphone from the '90s.

  • The key to this type of nest

  • is the pedicel, or the root.

  • It's the foundation that the entire nest is built off of.

  • These are the cells.

  • Wasps are like butterflies.

  • They're what's called holometabolous insects,

  • meaning they go through a metamorphosis

  • before they become adults,

  • and these cells are basically their cribs.

  • Petrovicheva: The cells are open when they

  • first are produced.

  • The queen will lay their egg in there,

  • and then it'll get sealed off.

  • They're shaped similar to a hollow cylinder,

  • or like a regular lead school pencil,

  • and there's a reason why.

  • Petrovicheva: The walls of the hexagon

  • hold the other cells.

  • Also, they're a compact space,

  • so you can get a lot of these cells

  • in very, very small space

  • while still having a very strong structure.

  • Mills: They're also perfectly sized

  • to fit both the larva and its roommates.

  • Petrovicheva: Oftentimes there's some food

  • laid in with the egg, so when it hatches

  • it has the food in there already.

  • The drones move from cell to cell

  • in a circular motion,

  • making sure that each larva has food.

  • Some wasp species tear up insects for the babies,

  • but other wasps take things further.

  • Mason wasps drop off whole caterpillars

  • for their children to eat alive,

  • while tarantula hawk wasps lay their eggs

  • on tarantulas they sting and paralyze

  • as a birthday feast.

  • Other species lay their eggs inside their prey,

  • and once the larvae hatch,

  • they have a meal waiting for them

  • to chew their way out of.

  • Petrovicheva: Once the larva is ready to metamorphose,

  • it'll become a pupa inside the cell still,

  • and then it'll hatch as an adult.

  • Mills: Since the cells are both the crib

  • and the cocoon for these wasp babies,

  • the nest must maintain a stable temperature

  • with high humidity.

  • This means as much insulation as possible.

  • For these types of nests,

  • the domes are almost always made of salivary secretions,

  • plant material, or paper or cardboard.

  • Petrovicheva: So, they take wood, they chew it up,

  • and they mix it with saliva to make a glue,

  • and then they lay it in thin layers.

  • The denser the layers,

  • the stronger and more sturdy the structure.

  • After building the core structure,

  • the queen wraps the entire nest in an envelope --

  • these thin sheets of macerated pulp.

  • This layer basically protects the comb,

  • or each layer of cells,

  • limiting the entrance to one tiny little hole.

  • Scientists think this helps

  • to maintain the internal temperature

  • and humidity of the structure.

  • And more cones can be added on with more pedicels,

  • sort of like expanding a mansion

  • with tiny little staircases that the wasps can use

  • to get from one area to another.

  • So, now I know the question on some of your minds is,

  • "Is there honey in a wasp nest?"

  • And the answer is no.

  • While both bees and wasps pollinate flowers,

  • bees actually farm nectar to turn it into honey,

  • the food source for their larvae.

  • Most wasps, on the other hand, are meat eaters

  • and prefer a diet of freshly chewed insects,

  • meaning you won't find honey in their nests,

  • but you might find a lot of dead bugs.

  • So, the next time you see one of these nests

  • and you're tempted to knock it down,

  • maybe back off.

  • Those wasps put a lot of effort

  • into building this crib for their babies.

  • We don't want to tick them off.

This is a wasp next.

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What's Inside A Wasp's Nest | What's Inside?

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    林宜悉 發佈於 2022 年 02 月 11 日
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