Bald-faced Hornet Worker Collecting Nest Material

A female bald-faced hornet worker (Dolichovespula maculata) was stripping the surface of a wooden fence post to collect nest building material. While stripping with mandibles the cellulosic material gets rolled up under her thorax. She strips a piece as long as her body and then climbs up again to strip another. Two consequtive strips must have been the optimal load size to carry into the nest. Leaf-cutter ants of the neotropics also use their bodies as yard sticks.

The motivation for collecting new nesting material in mid July could be because the colony grew larger towards the middle of the summer. It could also be simply to repair the damaged parts. Arboreal nests frequently experience disturbances such as branch falls.

State Botanical Garden of Georgia, July 18th 2010, Athens, GA.

You can learn more about the nesting habits of wasps in this short excerpt from a BBC documentary:



  1. carlco says:

    This is a very cool video i have had the chance to see them building but i was wondering from where they bring the papers.

Leave a Comment


shared on