Wasps: Bald Faced Hornets Life Cycle

The life cycle of the bald faced hornet also resembles that of the yellow jacket. These two wasps have many similarities, yet they have their differences that make them the creatures they are. Unlike the yellow jackets the bald faced hornets have just one colony that they all live in. Everything happens within the nest, from taking care of the Queen, the Queen laying eggs, feeding the larvae, and protecting the hive. The bald faced hornet is not a problem during the winter. This is due to the fact that usually the Queens are the only ones to survive during the winter because they hibernate during the winter. Then comes spring and the lives of the bald faced hornet will begin again. The bald faced hornet life cycle starts in spring when they will form a colony throughout the year, and then in winter the workers, drones, and old Queens will die; leaving just the new Queens alive so they can go hibernate.

  • Queens come out of hibernation, and select a new spot to make a nest.
  • Sometimes worker bald faced hornets may have survived the winter if they found a warm place to stay, but it is very rare.
  • The Queen will lay her eggs inside the nest.
  • Once the eggs hatch the workers will take over the care of the larvae.
  • Once the larvae have grown they will become workers, and help expand the nest; and help with all of the other worker bald faced hornet duties.
  • While the queen is inside the nest she lays more eggs. When these eggs hatch they become drones which are males who are just needed to reproduce and new Queens who will be the egg carriers into the following spring.
  • Once the drones and new queens mature they will mate, shortly after the drones will die.
  • The new Queen will then start to look for a place to hibernate. She likes to find a protective place such as attics, tree trunks, hollow trees, or underground to hibernate.
  • During the fall workers begin to dwindle away and die. The Queen will also dwindle away, as the new queen will be hibernating at this time.
  • Since the nest has been abandoned at this point it will decompose and disintegrate, this also occurs due to the weather.
  • Then when spring rolls around the cycle will just repeat itself.
  • Also a new nest is always built, the bald faced hornets will never go back into an old nest, yet they might build a new one very close to the old one.
wasps bald faced hornets life cycle

Here is a bald faced hornet nest that has been destroyed, yet there are still eggs and larvae inside. The white sacs are the larvae, and the yellow sacs are the eggs.

wasps bald faced hornet life cycle

Here is a bald faced hornet hatching!

Pictures courtesy of www.creativecommons.org

One Response to “Wasps: Bald Faced Hornets Life Cycle”

  1. f you do need some kind of help besides prevention, you should go with natural means. Pheromone traps, sticky tape and spring traps are better for the environment and will not harm pets and children like poisons can. If you must use some sort of chemical means, try red pepper for ants, soapy water for other kinds of bugs and even garlic to prevent infestation.

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