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In spite of being late August, this is a relatively new nest and still small. The first 11 or so empty cells in the center of the nest housed the adults currently working on enlarging the hive. The second ring of cells are sealed and contain pupae from which new adults should emerge soon. The outer 2 or 3 rows of cells all contain eggs. No larvae were present, unless still very small. The wasp on the top of the nest was on guard duty and was anxious and uncomfortable with our closeness. The nest was only about 1 meter off the ground. The pedicle is black with a special kind of glue substance and in the last picture, you can see how the upper side of the nest is covered in a water repellent waxy coating to protect it from heavy rains. The entire structure is a combination of many different materials and building techniques. At this elevation, it is never cold and there may not be a winter hibernation of queens.
Heavy shrubbery along the highway between San Cristobal de Las Casas and Tuxtla Gutierrez, km 11.5, 865 meters.
Lat: 16.70, Long: -92.86
Spotted on Aug 20, 2013
Submitted on Sep 10, 2013