How to identify the Queen wasp in a wasp colony

Do wasp have a Queen

Wasps are also a part of the ecosystem, helping the pollination process and helping the fruits grow. Like other colony insects such as Bees, Ants, and Termites, Wasps also have a Queen in their colony. Their existence depends entirely on the presence of a queen wasp. Maybe you have heard about those stories about aggressive wasps that attack and injure people. More than that, they are a type of carnivorous insect. It means they are capable of eating organisms with smaller size or even larger insects. Wasps feed on the flies, spiders, larvae, caterpillars, and bugs. They are related to the Ants and Bees. There are two major types of wasps in a colony. Which are reproductive wasps, and worker wasps.

The wasps make up their power with sheer numbers and synchronicity. Together they could be a more vicious and dangerous animal than wild cats or dogs, and what’s more, their venom makes it worse. A single sting from a certain wasp species could leave a pheromone trace, making other wasps go wild whenever they smelled it. However, how could such creatures depend on the presence of a single queen? Here are the facts you need to know about the queen wasp.

wasp hunting an insect

Queen wasp is the fertile female that produce fertile eggs. Queen wasp is the heart of the entire colony and the founder. Without the queen, the nest would soon collapse. Of course, the queen comes from one of the female wasps of an existing colony. The current queen would choose the most promising candidate and then train the female wasp selected to be the next queen. It has such an essential role for the whole colony, so how do you differ the queen from the rest?

What does a Queen wasp look like

Physically, the queen would have no noticeable differences with the worker wasps. After all, they came from the same eggs. However, you can see the queen’s apparent different behavior that makes it distinguishable from the rest of the colony. One of the noticeable behavioral differences is that the time they choose to fly around and explore. In early spring, you will see some queens preparing to build a nest by scavenging food. When it comes to hibernation in late autumn, there would be a solitary wasp, most probably the queen preparing for hibernation.

Looking at the size, it is common knowledge that the queens would have a bigger build than the workers. However, it also depends on the species, as there are more than 5,000 species of wasp all over the world. In some countries, the queen doesn’t even differ from the workers. But if you can get close enough to observe one, you will see that the queen has its lower abdomen more pointed, and its waist is noticeably narrower than the workers. You don’t get it wrong when you find it challenging to identify the queen wasp in a nest. After all, it has an almost similar build with the worker of the same nest.

Queen wasp
Queen wasp

How about the danger level?

Can the queen bear its sting and attack other creatures? Is it as deadly as the different types of wasps in the nest? Well, you are dealing with the leader of a colony capable of hunting and hurting creatures bigger than them. Don’t expect the queen to be such a leader you usually see in the movie who can only rely on its soldiers. Since the queen can build its own nest and find its food in solitary, you should expect that it could also defend itself from outside threats.

Removing wasp nest or Queen wasp

If by any chance, you notice a solitary wasp flying around your home around the same spot in early spring, it might be a queen building a new nest. After hibernation, it is the task of a queen to rebuild its colony from scratch. It is much better to get rid of the nest while it is still in progress. Once it becomes a colony, it would be much harder to get rid of them because of their vicious nature. You have to go through all the preparations so that you could remove the infestation safely. In worse cases, you would require help from the professionals to get rid of the infestation.

female Worker Wasp

Once you kill the queen wasp, does it mean that the infestation will also end? You should pay attention to the fact that once a colony is settled, it would not end just with the queen’s death. There should be more queen candidates inside the nest. If the current queen dies, then they would only erect a new queen for the nest. That feature is quite common in a wasp’s nest since the whole’s survival comes first before anything else.

Therefore, the best way to get rid of the infestation is to prevent it from happening. Just as stated before, you would need to look for the nest while the queen is still building and remove it immediately before finishing. Once it is finished, a colony will be formed, and they could attack anything they feel threatening. So, make sure to identify if a queen is lurking around your house and look for its hiding place. It could be gaps, hollow spaces, and other sheltered space around your home. Just follow the direction where the queen is flying to, and you will soon see its hiding place.

Wasp sting

Prepare for the attack

In any other way, make sure that you know what you are dealing with, a bee or a wasp. It would make a big difference because, unlike bees, wasps don’t die once they use their sting. Moreover, they have venoms and pheromones, which cause unbearable pain and make the other wasps nearby aggressive towards the target. After confirming that you are dealing with wasps, make sure not to do anything to provoke them. They always move in a group, so if you anger one, the rest will most probably come to attack you all together. If that is happening accidentally, you must make your way out of there as soon as possible. Otherwise, the entire group gathers to attack you.