Check out a nature studies blog from Ms. Jung as she finds a new friend on campus which signals that Spring must be on the way!
As the ice melted and the sunshine warmed everything up we are starting to see signs that Spring is coming. This week on campus we’ve had a couple of nature encounters with a native wasp species who can be found here in Maryland: the Northern Paper Wasp.
I was able to snap a photo of a queen who was thinking about making her nest in our Children’s Garden playground. Then, we, very carefully, took her to a different location - do not worry.
Northern Paper Wasps use wood to make their nests by chewing it up and creating a saliva paste to form what looks like paper. That’s why you often find these friends near where people reside because you’ll find human-made wood products like homes, barns, sheds, fences and more. So we weren’t surprised when this queen wasp was found perching on a wooden chair in our play area.
Since this wasp has the ability to sting several times without dying in order to protect a nest or one another, we thought it was in everyone’s best interest to move her. In order to give the wasp an uninterrupted space to nest, I picked up the wooden chair and moved it to a more hospitable area in the woods behind our school. This will allow her to build a nest in the forest area without children disturbing her.
These wasps are incredibly social, intelligent and complex. Take a look at some of the things we learned about this insect today: https://www.insectidentification.org/insect-description.php?identification=Northern-Paper-Wasp
Maren Jung is the Forest Explorers Director and our Nature Studies Teacher. Learn more about WSB's sustainability initiatives.