Polistes annularis, Red Paper Wasp

flamesbane

Arachnobaron
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I am super intrigued by the wasp keeping threads, and have read several of them and have a few questions:

Is it too late in the year to try to collect a nest/foundress?

Does this species (Polistes annularis) do well in captivity?

How can I identify a P. annularis foundress at this time of year?

Thanks in advance
 

Vespula

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I am super intrigued by the wasp keeping threads, and have read several of them and have a few questions:

Is it too late in the year to try to collect a nest/foundress?

Does this species (Polistes annularis) do well in captivity?

How can I identify a P. annularis foundress at this time of year?

Thanks in advance
It may be hard to find just a foundress this late in the year, but you can probably find a nest.

Polistes annularis is one of my favorites to keep in captivity, mainly due to their large size and , in my experience, good temperament.

The foundress will be the largest wasp on the nest, and the one who does all the laying. The species is large anyway, but the queen will be Huge.:D

Good luck, and welcome to the wasp keeping hobby!
 

flamesbane

Arachnobaron
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It may be hard to find just a foundress this late in the year, but you can probably find a nest.

Polistes annularis is one of my favorites to keep in captivity, mainly due to their large size and , in my experience, good temperament.

The foundress will be the largest wasp on the nest, and the one who does all the laying. The species is large anyway, but the queen will be Huge.:D

Good luck, and welcome to the wasp keeping hobby!
I planned on getting the entire nest anyway, there are several of good size in my barn. I am very excited about this, it seems very interesting.

What size enclosure would you recommend? What is the average lifespan of a nest?
 

ZephAmp

Arachnobaron
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I planned on getting the entire nest anyway, there are several of good size in my barn. I am very excited about this, it seems very interesting.

What size enclosure would you recommend? What is the average lifespan of a nest?
I've never raised wasps but I've heard of using a 10 gallon tank with most of the top sealed and a special "air-lock" type chamber where you can add food and whatnot without the risk of getting stung etc.
Also, I guess for cleaning you find a divider to carefully insert to keep the wasps on one side and your delicate hands on the other. lol
 

flamesbane

Arachnobaron
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Well I did all kinds of research on venomlist and took the plunge and grabbed a nest tonight. I found a younger nest with two wasps on it, and several cells with eggs. I set up their enclosure and introduced the wasps, I didn't chill them or anything I just worked quickly...lol...if anyone has any tips on the enclosure or other care tips I might need to know post it up!

Pics:





 

Vespula

Arachnodemon
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Nice nest! Looks like Polistes metricus! Your setup is great, same type I use. Good luck and welcome to the wasp obsession!{D
 

flamesbane

Arachnobaron
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Nice nest! Looks like Polistes metricus! Your setup is great, same type I use. Good luck and welcome to the wasp obsession!{D
Thanks for the ID, I meant to ask in the previous post. I had forgotten in my excitement {D
 

Vespula

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They're one of my favorite species, and one of the first I ever kept in captivity. :D
 

Malhavoc's

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do they overwinter like ants? I always kinda wondered that, or do you have to start over every year?
 

Vespula

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Late in the season, the queen will lay eggs that will become young queens and males. Those young queens will mate, and then overwinter. The rest of the colony dies. If you keep those queens, then you get new colonies for the next year.

Sometimes young queens overwinter in a group. This group of hibernating wasps is called a "Pail". :D


I never guessed I'd get to talk about my specialty on AB! This is fun. :D
 

Malhavoc's

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you dont find that the multiple young offspring compete for the one nest or do you release all but one pair? I saw a beautiful black wasp with red highlights that had me fascinated, until ofc, its nearby nest stung me for making too much ruckus digging up spiders ;)
 

Vespula

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Sometimes several young queens will build a nest together. It's neat to see them do that. You could also try to seperate them into a few identical setups. Then you get many nests. There are several ways to go. :D
 

Crysta

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how do you tell which two are the queen in that picture? they look the same to me.

Btw I just thought of something...
has anyone ever tried to make a hamster routs for wasp? Like have the extender tubs come out from the setup and then place food at the end? would be neat seeing them work for it. hehe

You could use clear pipe-ping to make it look scientific! ...or would the wasp get too confused?
edit like this
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1248/1425018848_44de33fac3.jpg
 

Vespula

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how do you tell which two are the queen in that picture? they look the same to me.

Btw I just thought of something...
has anyone ever tried to make a hamster routs for wasp? Like have the extender tubs come out from the setup and then place food at the end? would be neat seeing them work for it. hehe

You could use clear pipe-ping to make it look scientific! ...or would the wasp get too confused?
edit like this
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1248/1425018848_44de33fac3.jpg
I can't tell for sure unless i see the two side by side, or see one lay eggs, but I think the one closest to the camera in the third picture is the queen. I've heard of making tube trails for the wasps. it makes feeding a lot easier. lol.
 

Vulgaris

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Both in those photos must be queens. The nest is far too young to have hatched any offspring yet

What state are you in that you have nests starting up at this time?

Those hamster tubes are not good for wasps. Their natural tendency is not to burrow underground or go thru tubes to find food, and they would have a heck of a time navigating back through them. Their natural way of navigating and finding food is flight and recognition of landmarks
 
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flamesbane

Arachnobaron
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Both in those photos must be queens. The nest is far too young to have hatched any offspring yet

What state are you in that you have nests starting up at this time?

Those hamster tubes are not good for wasps. Their natural tendency is not to burrow underground or go thru tubes to find food, and they would have a heck of a time navigating back through them. Their natural way of navigating and finding food is flight and recognition of landmarks
Tennessee, and I will be honest I found the young nest strange myself. There are eggs in the nest as well. I have read that P. metricus will often have single nests started by multiple foundresses. I was going to get an established colony, but many of them were quiet large and had males already hanging around the nest. This was not the only young nest I found, but it was one of the smallest.
 

Vespula

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Tennessee, and I will be honest I found the young nest strange myself. There are eggs in the nest as well. I have read that P. metricus will often have single nests started by multiple foundresses. I was going to get an established colony, but many of them were quiet large and had males already hanging around the nest. This was not the only young nest I found, but it was one of the smallest.
I don't really know why those metricus are doing that. It's unusual, in MS, atleast, to see multifoundress colonies this late in the year.


Oh, CentipedeFreak, I didn't realize you were saying to use the tubes to make a route to get to food. I thought you meant to drop the prey through the tubes...:eek: oopsie!
 

xhexdx

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Ok, I need to go to venomlist and start some researching...this looks awesome, and despite my reaction to wasp stings, I'd almost want to try something like this.

For now, here's my question:

How the HECK do you collect the nest and wasps without being stung?

Off to venomlist I go... :D
 

Vespula

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If you catch a queen, and start the nest from scratch, then just net her and put her in a setup. Or if you want the entire nest, you can try to catch each wasp individually then get the nest, or put on a bee suit, and grab it. If you do that, then use slow movements to help avoid the wasps getting away. The bee suit isn't a must, but if you're allergic, then it's reccomended. That or thick clothes, a ski mask to protect your face, and gloves.
 

Vespula

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If you use a wild caught queen, this is how to make the setup for her. I thought this would help. You can see several other wasp vids and tutorials on my youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/Phantomon2010




[YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40IX4ZE6PS4[/YOUTUBE]
 
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