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Is one of the more common and well-known species of social wasps in Europe. It is considered an invasive species in Canada and the United States. Nests are begun by overwintered founding queens or foundresses, who spend about a month in the spring constructing a nest and provisioning offspring, the first of which will become daughter workers in the growing colony. Males are produced later, and when they start to appear, a few daughters may mate and leave their nest, to become foundresses the next season. The switch from production of workers to production of future foundresses ("gynes") is not utterly abrupt, therefore, as has been considered the case for other species of Polistes. The colony disperses in the late summer, with only males and future foundresses produced instead of workers, and individuals frequently cluster in groups (called a hibernaculum) to overwinter. Hibernation does not usually take place on former nest sites.
Grasslands around my town.
Lat: 50.80, Long: 4.65
Spotted on Aug 30, 2011
Submitted on Aug 30, 2011