York County (WHTM) – Even the wasps are looking a bit sluggish.

These common paper wasps (Polistes exclamans) are still going about their business, but they don’t seem to be moving as quickly as usual. Temperatures in the upper nineties can make wasps thirsty and uncomfortable, just like humans. So, in their wasp wisdom, it looks like they’re slowing down a little.

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Fortunately they’ve picked a good location for their nest. They’re in constant shade, so they won’t cook in the sun, and they’re shielded from wind and rain.

It won’t be as good a location when the weather turns cold in fall. At some point, when it gets chilly enough, the queen will depart and find a place to hibernate during the winter. The rest of the colony will die off. Since this nest won’t get much direct sunlight, it will get that much chillier that much faster.

The best thing to do about a wasp nest? Preferably, nothing. Wasps are actually beneficial insects, feeding on bugs that damage gardens and crops. So, unless they make a nuisance of themselves (probably because, in their compound eyes, you’ve made a nuisance of yourself) it’s best to just leave them be.  

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