Wasp nest study

Look closely at a wasp nest, to find the architecture of the nest and where the babies are reared.
Science content
Biology: Features, Adaptations of Living Things (K, 1, 3, 7)
Biology: Life Cycles (2)
Lessons activity is in
  • wasp nest, or parts, removed from its location only when necessary

Collect a wasp nest only when it endangers people who are allergic to wasp stings.
Put in a deep freezer for a few days to kill off smaller insects/bugs that will eat the nest structure. (Maybe freeze periodically if the nest is stored for an extended time - mine got eaten by something over the years.)

Look closely at the outside of the nest:
The stripes in the 'paper' are from different kinds of wood.
The wasps scrape wood from dead trees and wood structures with their strong jaws, mix the wood with their saliva into a pulp, then use it to build the nest. The coloured stripes reflect the colour of the wood used for building.
See this wasp nest built from different coloured construction paper, and how the nest builds up:…
The architecture of the nest determines the air flow through it, which keeps it at the correct temperature for developing babies.

Look at the cells on the inside of the nest:
They are interlocking hexagonal cells. The queen wasp will lay an egg in each, which will mature into a larva, which the wasps care for with food and water to keep the humidity correct. When a larva is ready to pupate, it spins a silk cap over its cell, within which it goes through metarmorphosis. An adult wasp emerges.

See other shapes of wasp nests at this link:…

Grades taught
Gr K